People talk about networking like it’s either something they are incredible at or as if it is the most daunting task to ever present itself. In COM, it’s at least something people talk about all the time, and for good reason. Sure, you could get hired simply off of a killer resume and your impressive COM degree, but it doesn’t hurt to work to develop connections.
Personal experience has shown me a lot about networking. One: Because I’m just starting out, most of my connections are people my parents know or have worked with. Two: That is totally fine. There’s nothing wrong with getting a little help from your parents, especially if they have the network.
When I was applying for internships this summer, I had my eyes (and heart) on one in particular: working as an editorial intern at Thrillist. My dad is in marketing and my mom is a special educator, so I figured I wouldn’t have any connections in the editorial world. Plus, at first I resisted help because I decided I had to prove myself, blah blah. Wrong idea.
After some time had gone by, and I had heard nothing, and my dad was offering for the third time to look into connections, I decided to let him help. And from there I learned how insane networking can be (in a good way).
Turns out, a business friend of my dad had sat at the same table at a wedding as an editor at Thrillist. Yep – that was my big connection. None of them really knew each other that well, but it was enough to get my foot in the door. I met the guy for coffee, and within a week had heard back about my application.
That’s really what all this networking is about, getting a foot in the door. Having the right network won’t get you the dream job, but it will definitely start you on the right path.