Non-conventional networking tips

By Samantha Pelham

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It’s that time of the year in which everyone is searching any way they know to get internships or connections that will help them get an internship. Rather than searching, ‘Paid Summer Internships for Public Relation Majors’ over and over again hoping to come across your dream internship, there are other ways in which to find an internship or job in exactly what you want to do.

Being a Public Relations and Theater major, I aspire to promote the stories on stage I am so very passionate about, but finding those internships specifically designed for what you want to do can be very hard. Being the PR/Theater geek I am, I’ve found new, non-conventional ways to network with prospective employers that can work for anyone. Here are some of the different ways you can connect:

1. Look through different programs, credits, books and papers to find the names of people involved in their PR and Marketing department and reach out to them. It’s easier than you think to find the name of who does the PR for whatever company you’re looking into. After finding the name responsible for that company’s PR, reach out to them on social media. Whether this means sending them a direct message on Twitter or connecting with them on LinkedIn, this allows you to get your name out there and a personal connection with them. For example, what I always do when seeing a new show is to go through the playbill to find the names of those who work in the PR department. After finding the names, I find any way to contact them or look for other companies they have worked for to give me more options.

5b698dd34df64035e3f43d70a9d5d0652. Slipping your interests and goals into everyday conversation with professionals. Conversation isn’t meant to be about fully you, it is listening and reacting to what the other person is saying which can ultimately help lead into good connections. There are many times when we speak with different professionals in a number of fields who offer us great insight on success but sometimes going the extra mile and talking to them casually can open numerous doors. When speaking with professionals and really anyone, it doesn’t hurt to include what you’re passionate and interested in. This is what helps make up your personality and it should be able for all to see. By sharing areas in which you’re interested in or specific goals, professionals and people all around may just have a connection to help you get you where you want to go.

3. Speaking of areas you’re interested in, a great way to network is not just through people in the PR world. Get out of your comfort zone and meet new people from different organizations, classes and walks of life that may just be able to help you learn a little bit more about yourself at the least. Joining other organizations you’re interested in opens even more opportunities in that realm. If you really like food, try joining the nutrition club and find different ways to promote healthy living. By getting involved with other areas of interest, you learn a little more about your specific things you want to promote and what’s the best way to do it. The connections you make with people within these other areas are just as strong as the ones you can make with PR professionals. After all, everyone needs PR so why not be the one there to gain the experience.

Networking isn’t just about receiving a business card and following them on Twitter, it’s about making an impression and finding people to help get you where you’re going whether that means as a guide along the way or your next employer. It doesn’t have to be a scary thing to communicate with professionals and those with more experience than you; rather it is one of the best ways we pass down knowledge while reaching for our goal.

dLK2OSVbSamantha is a sophomore double majoring in strategic communication and theater. After graduating, she hopes to work in the public relations field as a press agent for broadway or theater  company. Follow her on Twitter at @SamanthaPelham!

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