I work in the President Michael Shonrock’s office at Emporia State.
Sometimes, I wonder how I got lucky enough to have this opportunity. When I reflect back on where I am today, I’ve realized a lot of it is thanks to networking and relationships I have built while at ESU.
A friend from high school strongly encouraged me to apply to become an ambassador. After my first semester as an ambassador, the President of Ambassadors at the time helped me get my first campus job in the Admissions office.
I still remember the first time I met President Shonrock. I nervously gave him my contact information and asked if his wife would come to a BUILD Beauty meeting. Next thing I knew, we are having a BUILD Beauty birthday party at the President’s house.
Not long after that, I became a Blue Key Honor Society member. Now, I find myself working in the President’s Office.
It truly is not what you know, but who you know. You never know who may be able to help you with a task or who knows someone that knows someone that knows the answer to a question you are seeking.
I enjoy getting to know the people that I am making connections with on a personal level. It also helps when they get to know me personally, as well. If you ask a person for a letter of recommendation, the more they know about you, the stronger that letter will be. This will help you stand out when applying for scholarships, internships and jobs.
We can’t learn everything in a classroom, so we must gain experience. I encourage students to get involved in Recognized Student Organizations or apply for an on-campus job to start your networking journey. Attend conferences and make friends with students from other schools and universities.
Don’t be afraid to speak up, ask questions and build relationships. I would not be where I am today had I not applied to be an ambassador, due to a friend’s belief in me, the mentorship of Professor Webb with BUILD Beauty and the courage I mustered up to stand out when first meeting President Shonrock.
Make an impression, make a connection and you will be able to make your mark.