College Students Have a Strong Foot Forward, Despite Tough Economy

As a recent alumnus of Bentley University, I attended the career night for Marketing, Communications and Management majors last Tuesday to represent BluePoint Venture Marketing. The event, held twice yearly, serves as a forum for marketing majors and prospective marketing majors of all ages to network with companies ranging from a boutique agency like BluePoint to companies the size of Target, and everything in between. It was a very interesting experience to be at the event representing a company and not the one seeking a job, as I had done in previous years.

 I spoke with freshmen who were looking for information about what BluePoint did,  how I got involved with the company and  where a major in marketing could take them. I also spoke with more  assertive juniors and seniors concerned about our hiring plans, having done a lot of research on BluePoint with polished resumes in-hand. A few students asked for advice as to which major would be the most beneficial if they were looking to pursue a career in PR, what would be the best minor to compliment their major and what PR/marketing agencies look for on resumes.

 Freshman or senior, the one thing all the students had in common was drive. They all had relevant industry experience they were excited to share with me and impressive internships at corporations and non-profits worldwide that they hope to leverage in their next position; they all looked me right in the eyes when they talked to me and they networked like pros (some even waited in line to speak with me), unafraid of the current market conditions. The students I met with had held roles as brand associates, advertising interns at design firms, managers of entrepreneurship organizations, promotions assistants and sales associates.

 As a result of this event, I have a few take-aways that everyone should keep in mind at networking events and when looking for a job/internship:

  1. Remember, not all companies participating in a networking event are looking to hire. By making the “job opening” the main objective of your discussion, you come off as having an agenda and do not seem as though you are interested in building relationships. Relationship building and networking is often the key to getting a job.
  2. Do your research. It is very easy to point out who took the time to figure out what you do and, surprisingly, not many people take that crucial step. Creating Google Alerts and reading industry news are great ways to prep for a networking event.
  3. Even though it is not a formal interview, appearance is just as important during networking events as during an interview. Act like you’re on an interview and dress to impress.
  4. If you are looking to make a good impression, speak with recruiters alone instead of coming with a  group of friends.
  5. When describing experiences on your resume, be as specific as possible and provide metrics. Answer the employer’s questions: How much? How often? When? (e.g.: I  cut costs by 60% in my department in 6 months).

 With unemployment at the highest rate in decades, taking the advantage of every opportunity to network is crucial to any job search.

 Good luck to all college seniors and everyone else in the job search process.

 – Posted by Danielle Millerick

 

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