As a graduating senior, I recently have been trying to keep track of my contacts. If you are in college, you’ve heard the saying “it’s all about who you know.” Professionals you meet in college are your contacts, and your contacts are going to help you get a job.
I’ve realized there’s many ways to meet a contact, especially in relation to where you go to school. As Temple students, we are privileged because we live in a major city where we can intern and attend multiple professional networking events each semester. Contacts are everywhere in Philadelphia—the guy who makes your coffee, your Uber driver—practically anyone will tell you they know someone who’s looking for someone like you.
If you are interested in building your contact list before graduation, consider the following:
- Attend a networking event. PPRA and PRSA hold multiple events each semester where professionals working in Philadelphia want to meet college students who are interested in Public Relations.
- Create a profile and connect with people on LinkedIn who are working at a company you want to work for.
- Attend job fairs on and off campus. The Temple University Career Center and the School of Media and Communication Career Center hold large-scale job fairs every year.
- Apply for an internship! Even if you don’t get the job, you are networking with the person interviewing you.
- At your internship, talk to everyone you work with. The more people you get to know on a personal level, the easier it will be to land a job there after graduation.
- Attend events hosted by School of Media and Communication Career Center. Every month, Lu Ann Cahn brings in professionals who want to meet you and tell you about working at their company.
- Attend a Temple sporting event. At the game, sit with parents and alumni instead of the students. Be on your best behavior and you might meet someone worth knowing!
- Volunteer with an organization. Non-profits in the Philadelphia area are always looking for help at their events. Volunteering at a Fundraising event is the best way to meet philanthropic business people from Philadelphia.
- Conduct an informational interview. Find someone working a job you might want to do and reach out to them. In the interview, you can learn about what they do and if they enjoy it.
Going to college in Philadelphia is a privilege. We are surrounded by opportunities to meet people who want to help us get a job after graduation. Employers know that Temple students work hard. Whether you’re a freshman or a senior, you should be meeting professionals. You never know who’s a contact until you say hello!
This blog post was written by PRowl Assistant Firm Director Kristen VanLeer.