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How Networking Is Helping Me Succeed

As a commuter, I have always found it hard to stay involved in school during my first year of college. I did not have any sense of time management or leadership skills, so I made no effort to do participate in any extra-curricular activities. However, during my second year of college, I was introduced to the Marketing Club at my university, called the Western Marketing Association. Flash forward two and a half years and I am now the Vice President!

The Western Marketing Association, along with the participants and advisors, have taught me so much and have allowed me to grow into the person I am today. The WMA (Western Marketing Association) has taught me communication skills, leadership opportunities, time management skills, and hands-on marketing experience. My participation in the WMA helped me obtain my first Marketing internship at a local business, where I work with social media and design for the company.

I am extremely fortunate to be part of the National Millennials and Gen Z Community. If it were not for my amazing advisors, Ronald Drozdenko and Donna Coelho, and Bill Imada for creating this amazing community of strong ambitious people, I would not have had the opportunity to use my voice for change. I have been a representative for the National Millennials and Gen Z Community for about over a year. During this year I was able to attend a trip to Portland, Oregon, and attend virtual conversations with CEO’s, Managers and Chief Executives in the Marketing and Communications industry.

Both organizations that I represent have allowed me to obtain my first scholarship from the LAGRANT Foundation. The LAGRANT Foundation is a non-profit organization working towards increasing the number of ethnic minorities in the fields of marketing, advertising, and public relations. As a 2021 Scholarship Recipient, I found out by the Founder of the foundation, Kim Hunter, that I was the first Brazilian-American to get the scholarship!

Networking has allowed me to get far in my career path in a short amount of time. Because of my network, I am attending events, trips, and conversations with higher-ups in big companies that are listed in the Fortune 500. I now have the opportunity to have my opinions and insights heard and make a difference in the marketing field.

Networking is super important to me because it is shaping me into the Marketer I want to be someday. Here are some tips I would like to give you on networking:

  • Do not be afraid to ask questions. Although it can be scary at times, no question is a dumb question.

  • Talk to advisors regularly. Your advisors know a lot about the industry you are going into. Do not be afraid to ask them for help and advice, that is what they are there for!

  • Get involved in school. Your university most likely offers many extracurricular activities you can be part of. Gain those leadership, social, and time management skills by taking time to be part of something bigger at your school. It is a wonderful way to make friends!

  • Apply to mentorship programs. Mentors are a fantastic way to start connecting with people working in your field, so you can learn more about what they do and if that industry is right for you.

  • Be curious. Never stop learning new topics and being part of different events.

By: Sarah Albuquerque, Western Connecticut State University

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