22Nov/100

Need a Job? Join the Club. No Really, Join a Club

By Lisa Correu, Principal/Job Search Advocate, AfterSchool Career Workshops

I'm asked a lot by our attendees or other students, “So how do I meet people to network with? I don’t know anyone in marketing (PR, accounting, business, basket weaving, etc.)” I tell them to hang out at the bus station and when they turn to head downtown I almost always stop them. It’s one of those million dollar questions with a completely doable answer. For a highly social group like college students and recent graduates reaching out to people who can help you doesn’t have to be a chore.

Here's a start: join the student chapters of the professional organizations in your chosen field.  The American Marketing Association will likely have a group on campus, same with the Public Relations Society or AIGA for design. Beta Alpha Psi, the financial information association, has nationwide membership that you can connect with for job leads, advice or referrals. Membership will also put you in contact with area professionals who come to speak to your group, sponsor a career fair or an internship. Volunteer as program chairman and you can even spend some extra minutes with these people one to one. Heck, you can even pick 'em.

Get involved with your group on LinkedIn, join discussions, ask questions and look for alumni in the group that you can contact for informational interviews. After graduation there is very often a discounted membership to join the professional chapter. The members of these groups are very happy to help with networking and advice and you may even find a mentor or two willing to spend some extra time to get your career off the ground.  This is an especially great resource if you plan to move to another city or even overseas. So get out there, be a joiner and start your network.

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