Posted by: Holly Pierce, OSU Alum and former Career Services Career Assistant
The following post was contributed by OSU alum, Holly Pierce, who took us very seriously when we told her the key to finding a job was networking. Holly’s story is a great lesson for anyone looking for a job right now!
As a brand new college grad, I am excited to say… I am not only employed, but more proudly, working for my top-choice company, at Waggener Edstrom Worldwide in Portland, Oregon.
Today marks six weeks in my new position. So far, I have met 200+ people between the Portland and Seattle WE offices. However, just over a month ago that was not so true. To be exact, I knew no one.
All I knew for certain was that I wanted to work in the communications industry and more specifically, I wanted to work for Waggener Edstrom. So, instead of applying for job after job via: the World Wide Web, I decided to try something a little different. I worked my network. I called every professional I knew in Portland with hopes that somebody, somewhere, knew someone that would direct me towards a career with Waggener Edstrom.
To my complete surprise, the number of people willing to help me with my quest was astonishing. As it turned out, I found over a dozen people, in all different industries across the Northwest, who knew someone that worked here at WE. Thank goodness. I quickly began the next stage of my aspirant plan.
I will admit— I had some initial concern that I’d potentially present an overbearing image to the WE-HR department, so I choose one person in particular to help initiate my request. Needless to say it worked like a charm.
Within eight hours I had my first telephone interview which advanced me to the next round. Several days later, I had a second phone interview which almost immediately was followed by an on-site interview with my current manager. After traveling to the WE office and meeting the members of the OR-Ops team, I was certain this was the place I wanted to be more than anything. I left my final interview feeling excited, energized and full of hope. Less than two days later I was offered a position, which I whole-heartedly accepted. Within two weeks I graduated from college, moved to Portland and started my very first day with the agency.
However, as a very recent victim of unemployment, I can sympathize quite well. So, my advice to those still left in the all-too-familiar ‘looking for a job’ club; whether you’re new college grad, or not…
Here it is….
USE YOUR NETWORK.
During my time in college, I learned many valuable skills about career development but the most important thing I learned–the one that tops everything else—is the value of networking.
Believe me as I try to explain…times are certainly changing. Resumes, cover letters and portfolios, nowadays, can only get you so far in life. Blogging, Skype, I-chat, and the hundreds of social media sites are defining the new trend in our culture. In other words… networking.
Put yourself out there. Create an image and sell it to your ‘clients’. This new age idea presents us all with the challenge to think differently. It forces us, in every industry, to ask ourselves… ‘What can I do to make myself a more marketable candidate?’ Whether you connect on LinkedIn, start a blog, or record a YouTube video—the point is, it’s time to try something new.
I have been at Waggener Edstrom for 30 days for a total of 250 hours. I have learned the names of 200+ people across two floors of roughly 70,000 square feet. I have learned the details of our 16 worldwide offices, our innovative client portfolio and the crazy PR lingo that is actively used by Waggener employees each day.
So, the strategy? It’s no secret…
Get out there. Create a network. Find some possibility. Believe in opportunity. Work hard. Build relationships. Be interesting by being interested. Have patience and remember to stay positive—things will turn out right.
As for me… I still have a lot to learn. But so far, the transition from college to career has been pretty encouraging. I will continue to work hard, build my network and learn as much as I can from the world around me because I know I have a long career road ahead.