When looking to get a job, it is often said “it’s all about who you know”. Getting to know individuals can be difficult, but that is where networking plays a key role. Meeting people who work in your field of interest is not just going to happen so you have to involve yourself and attend specific networking events.
Being involved in clubs at school is a good way to start. For example, you will meet older students who will get in the work field before you and may help you down the line. Also, the club will host or attend events to help you meet important individuals. As secretary and member of AWMC, I have been privileged with these opportunities. This year was the clubs second annual networking field trip. This year, AWMC visited Roswell Park Cancer Institute and The First Niagara Center. I was only able to make it the RPCI, but found the trip rewarding.
Canisius Alumna, Emily Marciniak, is a great example of connecting with older students. By knowing Emily, we were able to set up the entire trip to RPCI. We were greeted by her at the front entrance and filled in briefly on her time at Canisius and her position now, we heard more from her at the end of the tour. We first met Heidi Findlay and Adam Kisailus who are members of the advertising team at Roswell. They showed us around the office and introduced us to the staff and the projects they were working on. It was interesting to hear that Roswell is so large they created an advertising team inside their building rather than outsourcing their work to other companies as they had done in the past. It allows for them to really be involved in the work they are doing. I learned from Adam that it is really important to believe in your own work, but to learn to take criticism that will allow you to grow. He said that was an important thing to remember and practice in order to gain people’s respect. What also stuck with me is that you have to be willing to take jobs you’re not crazy about in order to get to where you want to be. Lastly, there is always going to be someone who wants the job you have, so in order to keep it you have to be willing to grow and work well with others.
To finish the tour, we sat down with Emily to hear about how she got to where she is today. Like most of us, she partook in internships (3) during her undergrad at Canisius. She met a lot of people and really learned what it was she wanted to do. After graduation she did not get a paid job, but another internship. Though it was not easy to work for free the amount of time she did, it paid off in the end. Her last internship supervisor was close acquaintances with her boss now. Her supervisor recommended her for the job and she is now working with Roswell and really enjoying her time. I was really inspired by her drive to work for free in order to get to where she wanted to be. Even though she was not being paid for her work she did not slack off and gained the respect of many individuals.
There were other individuals we met and talked to on the tour, but a most gave the same advice of getting out there, be willing to do not so glamorous work and network! The field trip was very beneficial and I was even given the chance to use my elevator speech and get some feedback from professionals in my field!