Impressing Her Way to an Internship
Networking, Networking, Networking! That was my mantra during my master’s degree program in marketing at Golden Gate University and it should be yours too, especially if you are an international student. About two semesters into my degree program, the economy nose-dived, leaving hundreds and thousands unemployed, and students looking forward to graduating and landing that “dream job” in a state of despair. I was fully prepared for my internship and job search to be fairly hard and frustrating, and thanks to the failing economy, the search would now be even more brutal.
When it was time for me to land an internship, I used every resource available to me at Golden Gate University. All my professors at the Ageno School of Business were more than helpful with references, useful tips, and professional guidance. I owe my networking skills and my subsequent internship to the Golden Gate University Marketing Club and the San Francisco American Marketing Association’s incessant efforts to connect students with professionals. I met the CEO of the company that hired me for my internship at GGU’s Alumni Awards Reception in 2008. I was introduced to him by my professor and we exchanged business cards (another tip I learned from the GGU-AMA was to have professional-looking business cards handy to distribute at events to potential employers) and he asked me to forward my résumé. While I did not hear back for four months, I moved on and continued my efforts to circulate my resume, volunteer at events at GGU and professional chapters outside of the University, all the while looking for ways to gain experience that I could include in my résumé. Four months later, the marketing director contacted me, asking if I was still interested. A week after that, I had myself an internship!
The internship experience was interesting to say the least. I got to work for a start-up company and learned how important it is to convince investors about your hot new product and the high-risk, high-reward environment of a start-up. I got to work on my first email marketing campaign, observed social media efforts to create a buzz about new products and applications, and understood how important it is for companies themselves to network and get their foot in on every event and professional chapter. All the while, I had the benefit of working with a team of highly skilled professionals who brought their years of experience and expertise and worked together for this start-up. In the course of my internship, I also saw the toll the economy took on the company as I observed a spate of layoffs. When I was ready to finish with my internship, I had gained not only valuable marketing experience that I can put down in my résumé and confidently discuss at job interviews, but also a world of knowledge on the life cycle of start-up companies in the San Francisco Bay Area.