Hi Everyone! This is Taylor Farris and I feel honored to have been asked to write a guest piece for the Whitman Blog. I am currently in Dublin, Ireland studying abroad. Going abroad has made me push myself out of my comfort zone. In Ireland I have had to make new friends, adapt to a new teaching style and start all over when it comes to getting involved. It has been an amazing experience so far, one that I would recommend to anyone.
While abroad I am in the midst of applying for internships. The key topic I want to focus on is networking for those internships/jobs. Last summer I had an internship with PepsiCo and Frito-Lay, I told everyone I knew that I was going through the interview stages. As it turns out a friend of a friend had this internship in the past and was able to give me some insight. A mentor of mine I met through Whitman also aided me in my interview process. A friend of my mom’s actually worked for PepsiCo and offered me support if I needed it. I received the internship and had a successful impact of $140,000 worth of estimated annual sales. I credit this to the power of networking.
Advice number one is to tell everyone you know of your dreams and aspirations, even if they continue to change. Who knows, your engineer roommate might just have an aunt who works for that company you love in that department you thrive for. But that engineer roommate will not bring up his aunt who works for your dream company unless you tell your roommate of your dreams and aspirations.
So what is the next step? You received the contact of the roommate’s aunt who works for the dream company in the ideal department, now what? Most students are nervous and do not want to waste a professionals time. Please take a pause and reflect back. Reflect back to the time that junior from your high school first messaged you about Syracuse and Whitman. They wanted to know if you liked it, how you applied, how you got into Whitman? You were ecstatic! You love it here! You bleed orange! You said “let me tell you how great it is here, how educational my classes are and how amazing the facilities are”. You were pumped someone reached out to you and you were more than willing to take two seconds to respond. “Oh you play lacrosse? Let me put you in contact with my friend on the club lacrosse team”. Wow, look at that; networking.
Do not be nervous to email your roommates aunt who works for your dream company. Send a quick, curious, professional email to her; there is no need to send a book, but just a quick email with a few interest questions, showing your passion and your questions. And instead of the club lacrosse team’s information, she might just give you the hiring manager’s information and she might pass on your name.
Sparknotes version of this blog:
Study Abroad, put yourself out of your comfort zone.
Tell everyone your dreams and aspirations, even if they continue to change.
Take advantage of every contact you receive.