We’ve been told time and time again that getting a job is all about who you know. But when was the last time you talked to the person who sits to your left in lecture about anything other than how boring Professor XYZ is? This is a story of how a pre-med student, Geoff, was connected with valuable contacts in his field by a management student, Lauren.
Geoff and Lauren had been working as supervisors in an organization together for a few months, knew they were both from Colorado, but weren’t close enough to remember the other’s major or personal details. At an event the other night, Lauren inquired about Geoff’s summer plans, and he mentioned that he was having trouble finding research positions at universities. Lauren asked him what his major was, and when he said pre-med, the wheels started turning. The two went through the different colleges in Colorado trying to think of options and as the list came to an end, something clicked. Lauren told him that her dad was a surgeon and that her mom was a doctor; if he wanted, she could talk to her dad about Geoff and have him help out. Geoff was put in contact with a professional in his field by a passing comment about summer plans…. all through the force of networking.
What should you take away from this story?
Don’t be passive and let your days in college pass you by. There will never be another time where you’re so densely surrounded by diversity. You have NO idea who the person in your 2:30 lecture with Professor XYZ knows or who his or her parents are.
Talk to everyone you meet, not just people in the same major as you. Form a network, not just socially, but also professionally, and make everyone aware of your career and life goals. It will pay off in the end.