Professional’s Tips from A Night of Networking

 

Women in Leadership

As we make our way through our college years, networking and forming contacts for the future becomes increasingly important. Connections have become a primary way for communication students to make the transition from college into the working world. I am constantly thinking about people I know who can help me get to where I want to be. On Monday, in hopes of expanding my network, I attended A Night of Networking hosted by Hofstra University’s new program, Women in Leadership. At this event, students and recent alumni were able to listen to and get tips from a panel of Hofstra graduates who have made their way up the corporate ladder and now hold positions that would be a dream come true for many current students. This was a great opportunity to learn some dos and don’ts of the trade; but don’t panic, if you weren’t able to go, here are some helpful tips from the professionals.

 

Ask Questions – Lauren Ruotolo, Director of Entertainment Promotions at Hearst Magazine, is an avid believer in asking questions. Ruotolo stated that a lot of the time, when given a task, interns don’t know exactly what their supervisors are looking for. If you are not 110 percent positive you know what you are doing, make sure you ask questions. This will show that you are passionate about learning the ropes and getting things right the first time. Not to mention, you will make both yours and your boss’s lives easier.

Go Back to the Basics – Facebook, Twitter, and texting has flipped our writing skills upside down. As students, we are constantly using social media to get our points across in a fast manner – these days we don’t even have the time to write out the word “you” anymore. However, once we make our way into the working world, we need to remember that “u” is just a letter and not an actual word. Bonnie Optekman, Vice President of News Technology at NBC, told the audience to always revert back to the basics. Even in a text message, employers want to see that we are aware of proper spelling and possess good writing skills. Optekman advised to always be professional while communicating during your internships.

Snail Mail – Who would have guessed that the postal service still exists? Email has taken over snail mail and to many college students regular mail is no longer a form of communication. However, the panel of professionals believes a hand written thank you note after an interview can go a long way. It was agreed upon that receiving a thank you card rather than an email shows that the interviewee really cares. Celia Berk, Chief Talent Officer at Young & Rubicam Brands and moderator of the event, gave a great piece of advice when she told the audience to add aspects of interview conversation into your thank you notes. This demonstrates to employers that you were interested in what was going on and that you’re passionate about your possible internship. Just think about it, an extra 44 cents for a stamp can put you at the top of any professional’s list!

If you hope to be in the seats of these professionals someday, their tips and tricks are great stepping stones to get you where you want to be.

 

 

Daniele Natola, Junior, Public Relations Major

Be the Leader: Motivate and Compliment

A few weeks ago I traveled to Baltimore (by Amtrak! woo!) for the Eastern Communications Association Conference at the Hyatt representing Hofstra University, PRSSA, and PRestige Agency.  I was registered as a speaker for the “Charting New Directions for PRSSA: Innovators, Explorations, and Adventures” along with other communications students.  The panel itself turned into a casual dialogue about the  frustration that all student-run organizations face: motivating other students.  As the VP of Development, Recruitment, and Media for PRestige Agency, I have had my fair share of challenges this past year.  After being asked what I thought were required qualities in a leader, I answered that not only does a leader need to be motivational, organized, and professional, they must serve as a mentor for younger students.  Students in undergrad are looking for advice and they turn to their peers first.  A strong leader is some one that others want to emulate, and it comes down to having a balance between the professional and personal.

Today was my last day of class at Hofstra University.  I graduate on May 16th with Latin Honors Distinction, an Associate Honors Degree,  a full resume, and much more wisdom than when I first walked onto campus four years ago.  Time and time again, I have been challenged to stand true to my identity and beliefs, defending myself and demanding respect when necessary, and learning to extinguish conflict when it approaches.  To my friends graduating, I would like to know if you can imagine your first day as a freshman, if you had any idea of what you were going achieve in the  following years.  I cannot.  I am astounded, dumbfounded and proud of what I have accomplished.

This past week I had to find my successor for my Vice President position.  Interested candidates emailed their resumes and cover letters and had an interview a few days after.  I based my decision on the strengths of the two candidates and if the position would allow them to build upon their existing talents.  Not only am I very excited and happy about the decision, but I cannot wait to see what next year’s E-board will do.  During both  interviews I discussed what I thought were necessary habits when dealing with people.  By coincidence, my advice was influenced by  How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie (a purchase made after my friend Emily Meithner raved about it).

Because you should buy the book yourself, here is simply a tidbit.

Fundamental Techniques In Handling People

  1. Don’t criticize, condemn or complain.

    It never helps to surround yourself with negativity.  People will always respond much better when you praise their strengths, not criticize their faults.  The time and energy spent complaining about a situation is time and energy wasted.  Save yourself the heartache and stress, become more positive and use your time otherwise spent complaining constructively.

  2. Give honest and sincere appreciation.

    No one can ever tackle a project by themselves.  In a collaborative effort, every person involved is valuable to the team.  There have been times when I have been so frustrated about  a campaign with PRestige, I wanted nothing more than to throw up my hands and give up.  However, with the motivation I received from my team and their unending dedication, everything was accomplished.  When you recognize and appreciate some one else’s work, they will continue to perform at a high level.  At this time, I want to thank Alyssa Bertuzzi, Nick Schweers, Aqlesia Sahle, Marise Montrose and Hilary Franklin, members of next year’s E-board and committee for last fall’s “PRestige One Year Anniversary”, from the bottom of my heart.  Without your ingenuity and dedication, nothing I wanted to accomplish this year would have happened.  I am so proud to see how you have all taken on your positions with such enthusiasm. To feel that I have had some influence on you is one of the things I am most proud of in my career at Hofstra.  I am more than confident to leave something I have worked on for three years in your hands.

  3. Arouse in the other person an eager want.

    You will hear more people saying “you can’t” than “you can”.  Less people will want to see you succeed than those who don’t care one way or the other.  The only person you can hold responsible for your achievement is yourself.  When some one tells me something is impossible or too difficult, my stubbornness makes me want to prove them wrong.  I like challenges because they test you, and if you meet that challenge, you will reap the benefits.  The most driven people are the same way.  They see a problem and they want to solve it.  People who are smart, thoughtful and inquisitive will need to be mentally stimulated.  So challenge other people constructively, more so that they can grow from it.

to read more of this entry and Reb Carlson’s “thank you speech”, check out her blog MyNameIsReb.com/blog