This month our theme focuses on using your resources to build your career and leadership skills. Kacey Schaum, assistant director for the College of Arts and Sciences, shares a few stories about how networking can be a great tool and resource in your professional career.

Networking in action

In my own career, I’ve seen the benefits of building and maintaining relationships with new connections. In 2015, I was looking for a new job. By coincidence, a colleague of mine—who I met at a conference in 2010—reached out to let me know about a job opening at his university. While I know it was my experience and education that ultimately got me the job offer, I recognize that having someone in the interview that knew me and could speak on my behalf was definitely a benefit.

While in that new job, I worked directly with student organizations and fraternity/sorority life. During this time, I met Megan Eckerle. She was helping establish a new sorority on campus. While our interaction was limited, and she moved on to another job after the summer, we stayed in touch through LinkedIn. Fast forward to 2018 in my role at Ohio University, my responsibilities include working with employers and identifying jobs and internships for students. While on LinkedIn, I noticed Megan posted that she would be recruiting at OU in her new role. Small world!  But again, here is an example of how networking and maintaining relationships works. While we are both in new and different jobs, years after meeting, we still can help each other. She is looking for students to hire and I am looking for employers who want to hire Bobcats!

In summary, it is important to build and maintain relationships. Even if the person you are meeting now can’t hire you, that does not mean you can’t be resources for each other in the future!

Three Tools for Networking

  1. Handshake—see student profiles, connect with employers: https://ohio.joinhandshake.com/
  2. LinkedIn! Create a profile today: https://www.linkedin.com/
  3. Ohio University’s alumni page on LinkedIn—search for alumni by degree, industry, and even the city they work: https://www.linkedin.com/school/ohio-university/alumni/

By Kacey Schaum, CLDC Assistant Director for College of Arts and Sciences

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