5 Ways to Network Like a Pro

Networking is a critical skill to have that many people struggle with. Improving your networking skills can make all the difference and help you get your foot in the door. Here a few tips to keep in mind:

  1. Be Prepared

Before attending a networking event or meeting always do your research. Make sure that you know who is hosting the event and who will be there, this will help you know what to expect. Also make sure you prepare a short speech to introduce yourself. This short speech should briefly tell people about yourself, your goals and help them remember you.

  1. Make Eye Contactinterview

Looking someone in the eye is key. It lets them know that you’re are paying attention. Nothing gives a worse impression then looking around for the next person to talk to, or looking down at your phone.

  1. Listening is Key

Remember that networking is all about conversation and making connections, so you do not want to be talking the entire time. It is important to seem interested in the person you are talking to. Ask them questions and listen to their answers, you may be able to find out what is important to them and connect with them that way.

  1. Politely Exit Conversations

Part of preparation is scripting out some exit lines, this will help you smoothly exit a conversation. When exiting, make sure it flows with the conversation, do not interrupt the person to exit, wait for a loll in discussion. Make sure that you exchange business cards and share a firm handshake before moving on.

  1. Follow Up

Networking does not end when the event does, it is an ongoing process that always happens. It is really important to follow up with the people that you met, whether that is through and email or a phone call. You do not have to contact everyone you met, just the people you really connected with. Doing this within 24 hours of the event will set you apart and show that you can take initiative.

Networking can be intimidating but it is important to remember that networking is something that everyone does. Don’t be afraid to get out there and make connections because you never know where they will take you.

Article Used: http://www.prdaily.com/Main/Articles/12844.aspx

By: Hailey Fuzak

Hailey Muzak is a junior mass communication major with minors in business administration and journalism. She is a first year member of PRSS-UD, the VP of Communication for the Student Alumni Ambassadors, a cofounder of the Cockpit Crazies and a member of Gamma Sigma Sigma

Advertisements

Strike Gold: Uncover Your Dream Job

As college students, we extensively prepare for our futures—raising our sails, gripping the wheel, pushing off the dock and venturing into the vast sea of our future. We don’t quite know what lies ahead, but we do have our sights set on one thing: finding our own treasure chest of joy, otherwise known as our dream job. We begin our search with internships and test out
the waters. But how do we find that one perfect match, our true passion, our calling? Well, we all embark on different journeys, but six key components can help all twenty-somethings set sail and strike gold.

  1. Explore your Interests/Passionsspongebob

We’ve all heard the saying “work hard to play hard,” but what if you could do both simultaneously? Try interning with an organization of which you’re already apart (like your school, church, gym, part-time job, country club, favorite charity, food bank, community theatre, etc.) and see if it strikes your fancy. You might just fall in love with working behind-the-scenes and discover you were standing on your treasure all along.

  1. Try new things with an open heart and mind

Perhaps you yearn for something new, uncharted waters in which you may sink or swim—and why not with a short-term internship! You won’t have enough time to sink if you tried. 😉 Branch out by working in a completely unfamiliar environment and appease that adventurous appetite of yours. Maybe you’ll shift your sails in a new direction. Maybe you’ll return to your previous route. Regardless, you can look forward to attaining a wealth of self-knowledge and a priceless confidence boost.

  1. Monitor your energy and attitude at work

Find yourself whining and groaning as you get ready for work every morning? Bashing your forehead on the desk in boredom? Counting the hours ‘til you go home? Or do you smile through your lunch break, leave work excited for tomorrow, and incessantly relay stories to friends? Every day presents ups and downs, but when measured in the long term, these habits reveal a great deal about our happiness and mental wellbeing. Monitor yourself every couple of hours—discover trends in your emotions, likes/dislikes, thoughts and habits in a diary or Word Document. This way, you can define your nonnegotiable needs for your fulltime job.

  1. Set up informational interviews

Take a walk in someone else’s shoes—meet with professionals who work in your dream job/industry! Prepare questions and jot down notes as they give you an exclusive one-on-one. They can tell you all about their college experiences, job preparation, current job responsibilities, daily workload, work/life balance and more. Perhaps they already found the treasure you seek and could drape you in their pearls of wisdom.

  1. Look forward to the future

No two paths identically match, no one reaches his or her treasure on one defined route and no one knows what waves or tides may pull your search in a new direction. Instead of feeling fearful, embrace your courage and college diploma and embark on the adventure of a lifetime—the adventure of your lifetime. You may find your treasure or your treasure may find you. Either way, you’re in for a great ride and a tremendous prize. Happy hunting!

Written by: Laura Hepp

Laura Hepp is a rising junior mass communication major with minors in advertising and theatre performance studies. She proudly serves as Vice President of Professional Development for PRSSA-UD. Her other roles include Blue Hen Ambassador for UD’s Office of Undergraduate Admissions and active volunteer at The Journey church. With a passion for musical theatre, she performs with Harrington Theatre Arts Company and multiple community theaters in the Tri-State and Lancaster County areas.

From Captive to Pariah: Public Relations Lessons from the Coverage of Bowe Bergdahl

It had all the makings of great media story – an American soldier rescued from five years of terrorist captivity and returned home to his family and loved ones in a small Midwestern town. But as most Americans now know in the case of Bowe Bergdahl, the reality is not that simple. The feel-good story of the returning soldier morphed into a public relations nightmare.
The United States brokered a deal to exchange five Taliban prisoners for Bergdahl’s safe return on May 31. The seemingly simple exchange became tainted by details of Bergdahl’s prior military service. A Pentagon investigation concluded that Bergdahl walked away from his post shortly before his capture, and further reports allege that as many as six soldiers were killed in the search for Bergdahl. Finally, many view the trade as a departure from America’s policy to not negotiate with terrorists.
In creating messages for high-stakes issues, communicators need to address both established principles and uncomfortable allegations. Despite the controversy of Bergdahl’s actions, he was an American soldier and prisoner of war, and as such, the military was honor-bound to bring him home. The military will still try him for any crimes he committed as a soldier, but can only do so if he survived his captivity. Despite the disrepute brought by his actions, Bergdahl deserves a fair trial separate from the conditions of his release from the Taliban. These factors are time-honored codes of the U.S. government and military. Communicators cannot speak to negative details in the absence of established principles, and vice versa.

The media maelstrom over Bergdahl’s release also highlights the fickleness of media and political pundits. Several politicians tweeted out initial congratulatory messages about Bergdahl’s release, only to delete them within days – or hours – after a growing tide of criticism. Stakeholders and audiences can change sides quickly and without warning. Their decisions can depend heavily on factors external to the issue itself, such as the political environment. Two lessons can be learned here: review all the facts before establishing a hardline position, and don’t expect public attitude to remain static. Public relations professionals must constantly gauge public opinion and adjust strategies accordingly.


While politically complex stories such as that of Bowe Bergdahl offer no simple responses, PR professionals can maintain inclusive, consistent messages and monitor public attitudes. These communication methods have the potential to shape public discourse as much as the story itself.
Sources:
http://mashable.com/2014/06/03/republicans-delete-bowe-bergdahl-praise/

Maddie Brooks is a rising senior Mass Communication major with a minor in Public Health. She is a UD Social Media Ambassador and a member of PRSSA, Lori’s Hands, and InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. Follow her on Twitter, @BlueHenMaddie and @Mbrooksinde.

Everything You Need to Know About Informational Interviews

For many students, choosing the perfect career path is a daunting and nerve wracking experience. Communication majors have a plethora of job opportunities, but some do not know their perfect fit or how to pursue them. A little, overlooked gem called the informational interview, however, is a way to open students’ eyes and put them on the right path to success.

The information interview is not an interview conducted in the hopes of landing a job with the professional the student meets with. Through the informational interview, students and prospective professionals can meet with professionals in the industry to gain insight on career advice, the industry they work in, and the corporate culture of their own company. Job seekers can also be unemployed, or employed and considering new options.

This is the perfect opportunity to ask any questions the student may have about jump starting their own careers. Students or current professionals can find employment leads, and expand their professional network. The employed professional from whom the potential candidate seeks advice and information also learns about a new potential colleague or hire and builds their own network through the conversation. 

In order to make the connection with a prospective employer, students can connect with alumni or professionals through LinkedIn or can ask colleagues to make introductions.  Jennifer Winter of The Muse, noted that an informational interview “is a request most people would feel flattered to accommodate.” So anyone interested in obtaining one should not look at it as a cold call, but as a “reporter calling an expert to research an article. Send the person a friendly, concise email that gets right to the point.” Winter suggests opening an email or phone call with a message such as, “I’m thinking about a career change and would love to pick your brain about your experience.”

According to a blog post written by Marci Alboher for the New York Times, if a person is willing and able to meet for an informational interview there are several things to keep in mind:   1. Informational interviews are simply a tool for building relationships and expand one’s professional network, not as a way to get a job – the point is to learn. 2. Wait for the right time for both you and the employer you are looking to speak with. This means leaving the ball in the employer’s court to choose a time that works for them. It also means properly researching the company the person works for prior to calling or meeting and have questions ready beforehand. 3. Never overstay your welcome. It’s always better to signal the meeting is ending and let the other person say he or she is open to continuing the discussion.

Alboher also provided potential questions one can ask when partaking in an informational interview:

1. What do you like most about what you do, and what would you change if you could?

2. What are the types of jobs that exist where you work and in the industry in general?

3. What are some of the biggest challenges facing your company and your industry today?

4. How do you see your industry changing in the next 10 years?

5. How has writing a book (starting a blog, running a company, etc.) differed from your expectations? What have been the greatest moments and biggest challenges?

 

By: Nicole Sullivan

Nicole Sullivan is a Mass Communication Major with Advertising and Journalism minors. She is the Vice President of External Affairs for the Public Relations Student Society of America as well as a Senior Reporter for the University of Delaware’s independent student-run newspaper, The Review.