Employers, I present to you my own collage, and the suggestion that those charged with getting to know lots of people (or ensuring that lots of people get to know one another) use a similar tool. Nothing is more awkward than being asked to “introduce yourself to the group” without having anything prepared. This way, we all had something to talk about, and we were each in control of the topics we shared. Perhaps this could work for a new class group of interns or new hires?
On that note, I wish you all a happy weekend!
Picture this: eleven sorority sisters descend upon the Deschutes River in Maupin,OR for a rafting weekend to celebrate their ten-year anniversary of pledging together. Kind of a big deal, right? Yes, you are correct. It was. Though, while on this trip, I learned a valuable lesson from a river rafting guide, and it wasn’t just how not to drown if/when I fall out of our raft on a class 4.
In between rapids, we were able to enjoy some gorgeous scenery, glassy water, and conversation that ranged from life updates to mindless chatter. At one point, our guide inquired about what sort of work we were all in. We took turns explaining, going around the boat and offering up our titles and (if necessary) brief descriptions of what we did. I thought nothing of it, figuring he was just making conversation.
Someone commented to our guide about how cool it must be to meet so many different people in his job. He responded by whole-heartedly agreeing and acknowledging that when he asked us what we all did, he was networking.
Wait, what? Cue the record scratch.
I didn’t think I’d hear that word this weekend! What do you mean, you’re networking? We’re on a boat! We’re wearing life vests! I smell like sunscreen! You’re trying to network with me?
Turns out, he wasn’t just trying, he successfully did it. It wasn’t formulaic, it didn’t feel obvious or forced, it was just people getting to know each other in an enjoyable setting. That can technically count as networking, right? It opened my eyes a bit (okay, a lot). Lesson learned: networking can come in all shapes and forms and it doesn’t have to include a nametag, business cards, or a handshake.
Side note: I wonder if I can convince our director that I should go “networking” again this weekend on the Deschutes…
Depending on the day, we can see close 60 new job postings coming down the Zotlink* pipeline. I thought I’d share a bit about how we decide which companies to which I’ll request a visit. Here is a sampling of what I’m asking myself…
Hopefully that gives a general sense – there are certainly more reasons outside of this list, but these are some of the basics.
Since we’re up to the third post now, I can probably let you all know that I am a fan of anything that looks like the country (which is one of the many reasons I’m excited to go to Texas next week for the National Association of Colleges and Employers [NACE] conference). Apparently, you can take the girl out of Eastern Washington, but you can’t take the Eastern Washington out of the girl. On that note, here is a picture I took after one of my employer visits. It’s not what I think of when someone says “Orange County” but lo and behold, it’s indeed the OC. Please excuse me while I go park in the field and turn on some country music.
*Zotlink is UCI’s online job posting board, which comes in the form of a snazzy website that is free for employers to use (and free for students to use to apply)