Where can I network with professionals outside of career fairs? Where can I network with professionals specifically in my future career field?
I am an advertising major at SJSU entering my 4th year and I want to start preparing for my life post-college. I want to get a job in the advertising industry. One the pieces of advice I hear a lot is "network with other people!" Where do I find these people? Also, I how do I find networking events (in the SF Bay Area) related to my field? Any relevant advice is appreciated! Thanks!
#networking #marketing-and-advertising #meeting-new-people #network #job-search
These are good questions. Though I am not in advertising, I too initially struggled with the concept of networking. Even though career fairs are excellent places to network, you can also network in your day-to-day life, whether that is at school with students, professors or outside school with friends and family. The point is that networking is not some official thing you do once a quarter at career fairs, but rather, something you do on a daily basis. Just by meeting new people, you are networking. Every time you get to know someone, you are building your "network", thereby opening up new opportunities (in addition to new potential friendships).
I got my current position with PwC via a career fair, but I've had other opportunities open themselves up along the way just by networking. For example, I train at a gym in Chicago where I met an individual who works in the IT department for large beverage manufacturer. Recently, we were chatting about our careers and he told me there were some openings within their finance department and he would put in a good word for me. Though I ended up not taking the job, the opportunity was there.
Even as you progress within a future career, networking will still be important because you will rely on your contacts not only for outside job opportunities, but also for help with technical areas in your field that you may not know about. Therefore, I agree with the advice you've been given - you should network with other people, however the trick is to proactively network.
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I am an industry professional and this is something I still struggle with. I would say use social media as a tool. LinkedIn still works for me. You can reach out to invite professionals you'd love to network with for a cup of coffee. I found a really great mentor by doing this and she has introduced me to other people in our field that have helped me further my career. I always check https://www.eventbrite.com/ or https://www.meetup.com/ to see what networking events I want to attend in my area. I try to attend one personal and professional each week so I don't get burned out.
Hope this helps
Naomi María’s Answer
If you're looking for actual work experience before you get out the door and your program doesn't include an internship program or if you haven't managed to land a summer internship, look around in the local community for non-profits that rely on some part-time marketing positions. If you're lucky, you can find a paid one, but expect it to be a volunteer program. Volunteer Match is a pretty good site to find real non-profits with real marketing needs. You have the opportunity to find a cause that matches your interests or a project that you think would be good for you.
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Robin Sparks, PCC
First, when I was in undergrad (also as a business major/management), I sought out a student chapter on campus for the Society for the Advancement of Management. I served as program director for a year and helped to bring in speakers from our field to speak at our chapter meetings. It was a great way to network with and learn from seasoned business professionals, which also allowed my fellow students and I to make connections with local employers well ahead of recruitment season.
Second, many professional associations have monthly meetings that you might be able to sit in on for a very low fee (sometimes for free, as a student). It could be that the American Management Association (or others) have some upcoming meetings in your area.
Best of luck with your networking! Robin
If they are like myself, they will feel honored with your interest in them and your shared professional choice.
I hope this helps you. CHEERS!