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Written by Thomas Martino at Looksharp 2016 2016
The experts will tell you networking is the key to success in obtaining any internship or job, but where do you start and how do you manage those relationships once established? There is only so much time in the day that you can devote to attending networking events and social gatherings, so the art of networking comes into play when you begin to use every interaction and encounter to meet new people and build your network. In this video resource from Looksharp’s Internship Hangout on Google+, you’ll learn how to find networking opportunities and how to develop relationships giving you insight on the art of networking in person.
Nathan Parcells, CMO, Looksharp: And I think it's interesting to kind of figure out and close the gap between how the networking that initially happens then leads to the relationship that leads to, you know, a better interview and a better understanding of them as a candidate, that might eventually lead to an internship. Or not. But, I think students hear networking a lot, but then they don't always understand what do with it.
Jessica Safir, University Programs Coordinator, Google: I think the thing about networking is it's just sort of magical. This isn't me whitewashing over the answer, but I think that you don't truly understand the value of it until you've seen sort of like the end-all outcome.
Like when I graduated, I went and did this internship and really hated what I was doing, but just like really tried to focus on building this network of people I worked with. And then sooner or later when the internship ended, a woman who I was working with, who came to Google, referred me to Google. And it was like I went through all that, and that's sort of how I ended up here. So at the time, it seemed like, okay this is really pointless, I don't really want to keep doing it, but like things ended up working out.
And that's why I think just like, you kind of never know how beneficial it's going to be until you see it truly happen. It sounds cheesy, but.
Jeff Moore, Lead Engineering Recruiter, Google: It 's magic.
Jessica Safir, University Programs Coordinator, Google: It is magical. You're not gonna listen to me.
Jeff Moore, Lead Engineering Recruiter, Google: No, I'm gonna make fun of you.
Jessica Safir, University Programs Coordinator, Google: That's fine.
Jeff Moore, Lead Engineering Recruiter, Google: No, I mean think that, you know, I look back at my career and I did an internship in college, and I got that because a friend of mine knew the company that was looking for an intern. So, you know, hired there. First job out of college was working with another friend in college, you know, referral there.
Networking, right? Lame 1996 networking before the internet even did anything, but it was networking. And through the course of my career most of my jobs or opportunities have actually come from friends, former colleagues, you know, people I've met along the way. And it's one of those things that when you're doing it in the moment it seems magical and stupid. Right? Oh, I just talked to this guy. That was useless.
But then you realize that it's not about that conversation. It's about the longer term conversations. And I'm like flailing my arms. You can't see it. So that as you, you know, as you evolve through your career, there's more and more opportunities that are there for you because you know more people in different places, and people know you, and so I probably do at this point about three or four networking calls a week, where I'm just talking to people about what they're trying to do, what I'm doing, what's going on, who do you know.
And you know, lot of times end up getting jobs because I refer them to so and so and tell them I said so and so sent you and vice versa. And so I think that it's intimidating, right? The sooner you start it and the more comfortable you get with it, it's not that hard, right. If you're networking with people that you had classes with in college, you can go complain about how hard that homework was, and everybody's gonna respond back, and you're gonna have something in common.
It's not like blind dating or anything crazy like that. It's really straightforward.
Jessica Safir, University Programs Coordinator, Google: Yeah, and I think a lot of what students struggle with is how to start the networking. And one of the best tools that I found, or sort of like methods of networking when I was in school was just doing informational interviews. So, reaching out to my professor and saying, "Hey, I'm interested in going into advertising. Do you know anyone from my school who works in advertising?" "Go meet up with them for coffee, pick their brains about what job they like." Maybe I'm like, "Oh, gosh. That's sounds nothing like what I wanna do." And then at the end of the conversation, "Hey, do you have anyone you could refer me to, who you used to work with at X company?"
And that's an easy way. It just gives you an excuse to talk to someone. Because I mean if someone from my college emailed me and just said, "Hey, I wanna hear about what you do at Google” it seems like a very, it's not an awkward like, "Hey, just want to talk."
It's like, "Hey. I wanna know what you do. What's your job like? What kind of things do you do on a day to day basis? How did you get there?" And it gives you a reason to sort of meet up with them, and I think that's a huge tool that students can use as like a way to sort of kickstart building their network.
Jeff Moore, Lead Engineering Recruiter, Google: And it's easy, right? Schools, you know, sororities, fraternities, clubs, sporting teams. And everywhere else but they are all low hanging fruit for networking opportunities.
Nathan Parcells, CMO, Looksharp: Yeah and you come in with that purpose and you at the very least, you're getting drain information that you might not lead you to a job, maybe just leads to you being more knowledgeable about the process.
Jessica Safir, University Programs Coordinator, Google: Exactly.
Jeff Moore, Lead Engineering Recruiter, Google: Exactly.
For me, I love the students that are engaging all over the place, right. So the person that sends me an e-mail, or responds to a tweet, or comes to one of these hangouts and sends a Picnote after, that, you know, maybe they're not a fit today. They may not even be looking for a job today, but that's okay but they're trying to build that network and those connections.
Because at the end of the day that's really what getting a job whether it is an internship or a full time job is all about having that network and building connections. And so I really, I really like when people are sort of building those relationships over the longer term to make things happen that way.
Jessica Safir, University Programs Coordinator, Google: So it's all about just sort of like putting your feelers out and just getting in touch with as many people as possible. And sort of taking those risks, like I said if you're a freshman and you don't think there's a right fit. You're probably the only freshman who's gonna show up then, which is great. Like what if there is a company looking for this brand new freshman program they launched.
So I think it's definitely about being on all those networks and sort of using your own network to meet those people who could sort of get you in the right place. 'Cause it's definitely all about sort of those relationships that you're building.