Networking is everything. Meeting new people, as many people as you can, is as important as an impressive resume or extensive experience, sometimes even more important. Knowing people, no matter how unimportant or important you think they are, will almost always come in handy later in life when you’re looking for that dream job. When it comes to that time in your life when the job you’re applying for is being decided between you and someone else, having connections and knowing people in your field will be your saving grace, will get you that job.
Outside my hotel in New York city, I was smoking a cigarette, wearing my student media conference name tag, when a woman walked up and stood next to me and pulled out a cigarette as well.
She saw my name tag, as well as my girlfriend’s name tag who was also standing next to me, and began to talk to us, asking about the conference and what specifically we were doing here. As we were telling her, she revealed to us that she is a managing editor at NBC. We kept our conversation going by asking her questions about her job and how she got to the position she is at now. She gave us advice, telling us we need to do internships every year, that networking and knowing people will be vital to our careers in media.
She gave us wonderful advice and expressed to us that she loved her job and she feels rewarded everyday, being able to do what she does. As she was leaving, we graciously thanked her for talking to us and she told us again “Internships, internships, internships!” I will forever remember that conversation and how much her advice affected me.
When we walked outside our hotel to smoke, we would have never thought that we’d run into the managing editor of NBC. If we had been at a different place at a different time, we would have never had the amazing opportunity of meeting her. If we weren’t wearing our name tags, she would have had no idea we were attending the student media conference and she wouldn’t have talked to us in the first place.
We didn’t think we would have met someone so influential by going outside and having a cigarette. Networking doesn’t always have to be forced, nor does it have to be awkward or intimidating. Cecilia Bradley was one of the nicest women I’ve ever met and she’ll never know the true impact she had on me. Who knows, maybe sometime in the future, our small conversation on the streets of New York City will help me get my dream job.