As a student of Public Relations, I hear about networking and internships an awful lot. Everyone is always talking about how important networking and internships are, and that people need to do it as much as they can.
Personally, I was always a little confused about what networking even was, until I listened to Nick Rovisa (@NickRovisa) speak at the Social Media and Communication Symposium at the Rochester Institute of Technology at the end of September, and met him afterwards.
Nick gave a presentation at the event about how he landed his job at a New York City PR agency, Ruder Finn. The presentation was called, “Social media + IRL = a job! A real life success story,” and you can see it here: http://www.slideshare.net/nickrovisa/social-media-irl-networking-a-job-a-real-life-success-story.
I’ll let you look through the presentation for yourself, but besides using an awesome quote from Jay Z to open it, the main point of the presentation was that active and consistent participation, or what Nick’s friend John Exley (@JohnExley) would call “hustle,” leads to opportunity.
This all meant a lot to me personally because I have always dreamed of working in Public Relations or Advertising at a big, Manhattan-based agency. I think that I would love the fast-paced life, and it would certainly be much different than the rural LeRoy, NY that I grew up in. And so, when I started noticing the similarities between myself and Nick, I started to get a little excited about the success that he experienced!
First of all, Nick’s journey began at a company called Break the Ice Media (@Break_TheIce), which is the company that I worked for this past summer as an intern. Considering the relatively small size of Break the Ice, it was quite coincidental that his story began at the same place that mine has.
Second, Nick loves Social Media, just like I do, and using it actually created a huge job opportunity for him. That means that all of the tweeting, checking in, and connecting that I do on a daily basis might actually be worth something to me one day!
The networking that Nick stressed in his presentation intersects with internships because you can’t do one without the other. Through my internship with Break the Ice, I met more important people than I can count. In fact, it led to my next internship at the George Eastman House (@EastmanHouse), which I’m excited to start in the spring. It also allowed me to meet some contacts from Quinn and Co. (@QuinnandCo), another Manhattan PR agency.
Maybe Quinn and Co. will be my ticket to New York, like Ruder Finn was for Nick, and maybe it won’t be. What is for sure, though, is that interning doesn’t just give valuable work experience, pieces for a portfolio, and college credit… It also opens countless doors through networking opportunities. I know that one day, my destination will be the end product of a journey that started with networking from Break the Ice.
Whether it’s paid or unpaid, big or small, exciting or boring… always remember how valuable an internship might end up being. You never know who you will meet and who you will impress. And one day, that internship could end up being the starting point for the dream job that you land!
“Hustle, Rinse, Repeat.” – Thanks for the advice, Nick!