I am an intern at the Loughlin/Michaels Group, a student at San Jose State University and on the Executive Board of PRSSA SJSU as the director of community relations.
The PRSSA Executive Board recently hosted a two-day regional activity, The Survivor’s Guide To Public Relations, for other PRSSA students around the area, state and nation. The activities included keynote speeches (one for each day) including the opening day keynote speech by Donna Michaels, president of the Loughlin/Michaels Group. The event also featured PR agency tours, panel discussions, a networking social, a case study competition and a wine tasting tour. Each of these activities had multiple professionals leading the discussions and interacting with students.
Roughly 80 students attended the two-day activity and the students that went out of their way to speak and interact with others put themselves on the top of the pile for landing interviews for internships and possible entry-level jobs.
The reason why these students have put themselves on the top of the pile is because of networking.
As students we are told that networking is important, but the importance is not stressed enough. By reaching out and interacting with the professionals that were at the regional activity, the students were able to receive business cards and give their own business cards to the PR professionals. Most importantly, they were able to make personal connections.
Furthermore, those students that spoke with the professionals were able to ask questions about internships, future employment, and their names were embedded in the minds of those they spoke with.
By networking, those students will either have contacts that are looking to hire full-time entry-level employees or interns, and these newly gained contacts can suggest the students to other agencies or corporations that are hiring or looking for interns.
Essentially networking can do the following for students:
- Gain new contacts
- Possible internships/future employment
- Be referenced to others by contacts
- Have sources and advice to look to in the future