The Power of Networking – Kate’s Story

I’ve been at Broadreach PR for a year now and one of the first things I learned was that the power of networking is not just for professionals, but is also extremely valuable for college students and recent grads out there on the job hunt.

Take for example, how I became a PR Specialist here at Broadreach.

When I graduated college in August of 2008 with a degree in Integrated Marketing Communications, I knew that I was going into tough job market, but I wasn’t actually that worried. I left school thinking that finding a job would take maybe a couple of months – I’d send some resumes out, go through a few interviews and then land a job. I was a fresh and ambitious young woman- how hard could it really be?

And then reality, coupled with an impending recession, gave me the who-know-what kind of slap in the face.

6 months, hundreds of resumes, 5 online job hunting websites, 2 staffing agencies, practically every family member and friend on the hunt for me and I still had nothing.

It was around December of 2008 that my Mom came home from her church and told me to email my resume to the brother of a family friend whom I had never met. Within a week of that email I had an interview with Broadreach Public Relations founder and President, Linda Varrell.

Thursday, January 3, 2009. Starbucks. This is when and where I met Linda for the first time. Having a very general idea that she was in public relations and was looking for an assistant, I was hopeful, nervous, and a little desperate. We talked for a little over two hours about my experience, goals, and interests and about her company.

I started at Broadreach PR on January 8th, 2009.

Networking is all about our interconnectivity as professionals and people. I got an interview with Broadreach not because Linda had seen my resume posted on or from a staffing agency, but because my mom knew someone who had a brother who knew Linda.

Yes, it’s a bit convoluted, but you never know what circles people run in and who happens to be friends or colleagues with whom.

I later found out that the man who recommended me to Linda was the older brother of my high school soccer coach. (Good thing I lettered that one year. . .)

Lessons learned:
1. Be friendly and treat people kindly, because you just never know.
2. Networking happens everywhere and with anyone because “networking” is just a more professional way to say “personal interaction”.
3. Do not disregard any line of relationships for networking. I never thought my Mom would be the one to help me land a job, but she did.