Strategies from School of Communications Alumni

This week at Elon is Professional Discovery Week and I attended a session today called  How to Win Friends and Influence Your Career: Strategies from School of Communications Alumni

Here is some of the key advice I took away from the panel!
Advice on the job search:

  • Ensure your self-marketing tools are on point.  Tailor each application piece for the company you are applying for. Making the extra effort will show your passion.
  • Always write a thank you note. Laura Ward ’09, post production coordinator at National Geographic, wrote her thank you notes in the hotel and mailed them from D.C. to ensure they arrived before a decision was made.
  • Have an attitude of gratefulness. People love to help people and will be more than willing to talk to you.
  • Network network network. All 4 panelists got their job from face-to-face contact and referrals. Don’t underestimate the value of meeting in person.
  • Go after what you want.  If there is a company that is your dream to work for them, then go for it!

Once you get the job:

  •  Do work beyond your pay. Contribute ideas, work after your job to show your passion and initiative. Become a valuable resource to your company and your co-workers.
  • Learn and embrace the culture.  Understand the attire, how lunch breaks work, etc
  • Meet as many people as you can.  Get to know their interests, experience and get advice from them.

On connecting with your contacts:

  • Think of excuses to email them. Tell them about stuff you are doing outside of work, an award you won, etc. For example,  Julie Marateck ’03 communications coordinator for the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, let her contacts know of a photography exhibit her put on.
  • Use Google alerts for the company. When you see the company you interned for won a new client or got an award, send a quick congratulations note.

General advice:

  • It’s okay to be scared before graduation – Ryan Sweeney ’10, monitoring and metrics specialist at Ignite Social Media
  • Stay ambitious, stay humble” – Eric Hall ’05 , producer for  CNN in Atlanta
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