Networking

Job, Life wisdom, School

See the title? That’s all success in life is about. You will get the position depending on whether or not you know someone.

Start with one person lower down on the importance chain or with a subject related to them and do well with that person or with that position. Don’t be afraid to e-mail, contact people, and introduce yourself. From what I’ve learned, interviews about your actual skills don’t matter at all.

My ability to attest? Okay, so I’ve only had one job in my life — an internship — but I can pull up example after example where networking will take you where you want. But pay attention because all of the interconnections get confusing.

Start with Ms. Riley, my journalism teacher. She started up the newspaper at my high school, and I tried to do well in the class, unlike most students who took the journalism class for a slacker ‘A’ grade. The next semester, she asked me to be editor of the paper. My senior year, after being editor three years, she pitched an idea to the local paper to let me intern there over the summer. I got it.

An internship? For someone who hadn’t even started college? And for an alright newspaper? I’m in.

My newspaper was a part of the state’s scholastic newspaper competition. I entered a first-place essay my junior year and met the man who runs the program here at UGA. My senior year, I entered another contest, but he lost my entry. He awarded the money to me anyway because he liked my essay entry the year before so much and was confident in my abilities. Guess what? I am sitting at a desk in his office right now as his office assistant. Next year they’re using a grad student to be the assistant, but he’s recommending me to the PR office next door. Guess I’ll still have a job!

Then? I got to college where everything was new and I knew no one, so I had no leg up. I went up to the Red & Black student newspaper in September and started writing a few stories. This semester, I was asked to be a news staffer and cover my own beat. Because I have story after story, people who read the paper regularly recognize me, even many of the journalism teachers I need to get in with to get somewhere.

One person in particular — Conrad Fink. He is the man to know around here, and he’s already paying attention to my byline. And I’m a freshman! As an Honors student, I signed up for his Honors seminar. But I didn’t stop there. I actually tried to do well on my pass/fail paper and got some nice comments. I introduced myself near the beginning weeks of the class and told him I wanted to know more about journalism and the Associated Press. He kept seeing my stories in the paper and now tells me what was good and what I should have changed.

Remember that local paper? Yeah, I got another internship there this summer. And then I am told that I should introduce myself to the department head of the journalism school because the local paper’s publisher saw him at a conference last week. So I do, and use a great quote from him in the story I’m working on for the day.

And then I go back to Fink’s class and respond when he asks questions. Now he actually seeks my opinion in class and calls me one of the up and coming reporters on campus. So I make the point to update him on what I’m doing with that local paper. A second internship and I’m only a freshman.

“Come to me in the fall, Crist, and we’ll talk about your future,” Fink said.

Looks like I’ve got it made. Associated Press? New York Times? I’m thinking, yes.

Just make your connections and make them well. They’ll take you places.

Sucking up and getting privileges

Dating, Life wisdom, School

Be a good person when you first meet someone, and you’ve got them hooked. After that, it’s just a variation of your personality that they can get over. So here we go —

Middle school. And yes, it spans all the way back to then. I was the smart kid, the well-behaved girl who answered questions in class and did her homework. Common fact: get the teachers on your side at the beginning of the year, and you’ve got it made for as long as you’re at that school.

Examples:
Forgot homework in the locker? Oh she’s just a good kid who pciked up the wrong notebook. We all make mistakes. Go run and get it real quick, C.J.

Giggling in class? Carolyn is usually so well-behaved. She’s probably in a good mood or had just a bit too much candy. She’ll settle down in a minute.

Walking down the hall when students aren’t supposed to? That’s Carolyn! Of course she’s not skipping. She’s probably heading to the library or running an errand for a teacher.

Of course, being able to earn this reputation has its downfalls. As you get on the good side of the teachers, you are bound to get on the bad side of the stupid popular kids. Of course, as far at networking goes, they probably won’t be able to help you out later in life anyway. They won’t remember you anyway. In fact, it’s more likely that I’ll always remember them and end up helping them out or something. Unless their parents with money take them places.

And back to high school, but with more freedom. You can get away with skipping classes, going into teacher staff rooms, and what not without being hasseled. Then again, I wasn’t doing anything bad, probably minor infringements like using the copy machine to copy my art history textbook so I wouldn’t have to carry it around, checking the journalism teacher’s mailbox to see if we got any entries, or walking around the halls to talk to teachers. But this is the way it should be. Let the teachers trust you, and you can do what you want. Hint to this: walk with a purpose. If you look guilty, they’ll think you are and stop you.

Now in college, it’s the same. No one cares where you’re walking and when or if you’re skipping class or not. But you can use a phone, a computer, some paper if you happen to be stopping by the office.

And at any point in life? Agaisnt the opposite sex. I’ve figured out that I subconsciously act as whatever type of person seems appealing to the guy when I first meet him. It’s not drastic, though. Everyone has different points of seriousness, sillyness, emotional attentiveness, and extreme likes and dislikes. I’m more serious with the silent types and emo with the emo types. Act sportier with the sport guys and nerdier with the video game guys. And you don’t have to be an expert — that’s not you, and you don’t want to completely lie. Just act interested, which is true. After all, you’re interested in the guy.

Either way, you’ve got to be witty and flexible. Don’t be clingy and always try to make a comeback comment, even if it’s lame. It’s goofy and cute. And don’t be too opinionated. Once you’ve got the person hooked (if you really want him or her after changing yourself) then you can truly show personality, and they love you anyway. It already always seems like that’s what happens when people get deeper into relationships.