One of the biggest lessons I've learned in the past 4 years is the importance of networking. Ideally, every college student would like a job right after graduation. It never hurts to make connections while you're in college to help make that process easier when you start looking.
I started using Twitter occasionally in high school, not really seeing a purpose in it other than sharing random tidbits of information about my day. Over the past few years, however, my love for Twitter has grown exponentially! It's a huge way to network with alumni at RIT, professionals in the business (future employers?!), other RIT students and professors.
I've found it helpful for connecting with people who I might not otherwise get a chance to talk to. It has definitely played a role in my search for jobs after college because I'm able to find and talk to potential companies really easily. Rather than worrying about what I’m going to email a company about (hey, hire me!) I can simply react to their posts every once in awhile in order to keep reminding them who I am.
Unlike Facebook, it has a broader reach since the connection does not have to be mutual. What that means: If you follow a company, they don't necessarily have to follow you back and you're able to talk to people who aren't following you. Good news, right?
Not only am I able to talk professors to ask for clarifying information on homework (super helpful Sunday nights when you're lost or need feedback!) but I was able to land an internship last summer at a company in Rochester through Twitter.
Career Fairs + Interview Practice
The Co-op and Career Service office here at RIT is a great resource for learning more about the job application process. I went in early last spring to get my resume reviewed. It's definitely helpful to get a second opinion on things from someone who has looked over thousands of resumes and can spot the mistakes a mile away.
The Graphic Design professors put together a mock-interview session last fall. They brought in professionals in the business from around Rochester and it actually almost took a speed-dating style when we only had 10 minutes to talk to each person. It was a great way to practice talking about your work to people who have not previously seen it + it didn't hurt to make connections!
Coming up on April 19th there is a Creativity Careers in Motion Fair for design students as well. A lot of the big name companies in the business (Carrot Creative, AKQA, Nike, Ogilvy, etc) come in to present and then review our portfolios. It's really nice when the companies have RIT grads themselves because you get to see what alumni are doing with their degrees!
Speaking of networking, there was an event on campus last night all about Twitter! The #140cuse Conference is being held at Syracuse University later this month and this event called #140RIT was just a small preview of what is to come. It’s an event that is featuring a large number of speakers who only have 10 minutes to talk. Last night featured presentations by Jeff Pulver, some students from the iSchool at Syracuse and some of our own RIT students!
The best part of social media conferences is the back-channel on Twitter that goes on throughout the presentations. Everyone is on their phones/computers/ipads the entire time - and not out of disrespect! There is a lot of conversation that happens about what the presenters are talking about in real time. Everyone tends to tweet the memorable quotes from each presenation or their own thoughts on the matter. Plus it's an awesome way to network and communicate with other people at the conference who you might not have even met!
Definitely are a lot of ways to get involved and meet people both online and in real life at RIT!
As always, for daily shenanigans about life at RIT follow me @RIT_Emily