Early Career, Mentoring, Personal, Professional

The Extra Mile

“Have you guys started your final project yet?”

“We’re actually headed to Toronto next week for the interview.”

“Wowwww… that’s ambitious!”

That was a recent conversation I had with a student in my commerce marketing class. I thought it was interesting that they saw us doing an in-person interview as “ambitious.” In my world – that’s networking. It’s building connections. It’s experiencing something new.

When you go and meet people, it’s an unmatched experience. You can’t really get to know someone via email or over the phone. You can start to build that relationship, sure, but you really can’t build a long-term professional relationship in those manners.

Not to mention – why not?

I feel like students don’t understand the power of the position they are in. Professionals (most) want to help students. They want to share their experiences and help you to learn and flourish. Never again in your life will you have quite so many doors open to you as you have as a student. Job shadows, coffee chats, internships, volunteer work – those were some of the greatest experiences of my student life.

Nowadays, I feel like students sometimes shy away from in-person conversations. It’s “easier” to send a LinkedIn message or schedule a Skype call – but do you think that someone can really get to “know” you in those few digital minutes? Hardly.

As a professional, I want to meet you. I want to see if you dress the part and look me in the eye as you speak. I want to see if your body language exhibits confidence and you’re excited to be there chatting with me. I want to show you around the workplace and not just tell you, but demonstrate to you, what the atmosphere is like.

So, here we go with another “challenge” this week. Are you a student? Are you still discovering what you want to do or are building your network? Do you have class projects that require interviews? Get out there and do it in person. Meet new people. Experience new career options. Don’t think of it as something you COULD do, think of it as something you SHOULD do.

Good luck with your career exploring adventures! 🙂

Please note the “silver lining exes series” continues this week. Week five of five (yay) will be posted on Friday morning. Hope you enjoy my mindfulness, motivation, and ridiculous relationships all in one place. 

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