Monday, October 29, 2012

Kick the Status Quo

I'm always the first to ask people how they acquired their job or internship. It's not only interesting, but important, especially if they're in a job, internship or field in your interest. Also, it's important because, in the past year, I've learned that people rarely get where they want to be through the standard apply-and-wait-and-see method.

Here are a few ways fellow interns have acquired their apprenticeships:

  • Relations: It's a common theme--having a family member who knows someone is usually an easy in.
  • Friends: Friends of friends is another route to get the ball in your court.
  • Acquaintances: You never know who you're going to meet. Introducing yourself and getting your aspirations out there is a great way to get recommended.
  • Research: I spend a lot of time researching people in my fields of interest. I look at their LinkedIn profiles and scan their blogs. Reaching out and connecting with these people is a great way to get advice, internship or job opportunities and potential mentors.
  • Alumni: One of the most under utilized resources at most universities is the alumni house. Connecting with the alumni in your program is the best way to get opportunities. It's how I scored one of my two current internships (Re: photo).
The Tumblr post that scored me an internship.
Internship opportunities are out there. You just have to seek them. Of course, applying to your dream internship is a must, but networking and less-traditional methods are extremely helpful. 

Social media has enabled us to do so much, including gain useful acquaintances and relationships. I setup a job shadow through Twitter and I connected with an alumnus from my university through Tumblr. The Tumblr connection was accidental--I wasn't aware she was an alum until after I looked at a few other social media platforms, but discovering her alma mater is my university, and she majored in PR, gave me a great way to connect with her.

Don't be afraid to put yourself out there. It's that half the battle. Not everyone achieves their goals through standard procedure. There is no right or wrong way. Sometimes, "You have to build your own door or knock down a wall."

How did you acquire your internship or job? Let's us know!

Rock out, kiddies!
- J

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