By Lynn Chang, Graduate Career Counseling Intern


On Wednesday, September 23, the Career Center hosted a career fair success panel with the following employers: IBM, Hitachi Data Systems, Enterprise, SJSU Spartan Staffing and Young’s Market. If you missed out, here are some of the top tips suggested to prepare for the upcoming career fairs.


  1. RESEARCH THE COMPANY. Look for what majors and positions the company is looking for through SpartaJobs. Check out the employers’ websites and read about their mission, values, and culture. Use this knowledge to show how you fit into the company. When at the fair, don’t ask questions that could be easily answered on the company website.
  2. PREPARE A CONVERSATION STARTER. Practice what you will say beforehand. This includes information such as your interests, experience, and goals.
  3. MAXIMIZE YOUR RESUME POTENTIAL. Keep your resume to one page by highlighting your strongest accomplishments and experience. Remember that your resume is not a comprehensive list, but rather a way to get you in the door. Don’t forget to include transferable skills such as teamwork, communication, and leadership. If including an objective, tailor it to the company name and/or job title.
  4. DRESS FOR SUCCESS. Be sure to dress in professional attire as if you were going into an interview. This shows professionalism as well as interest in the employer.
  5. STRATEGIZE YOUR PLAN. Prioritize which employers you want to see. If an employer you want to see has long lines, expand your opportunities by reaching out to other employers.


  1. HAVE A FIRM HANDSHAKE. First impressions can make a huge difference, so start off strong!
  2. KEEP EYE CONTACT. While a stare-down is certainly not the way to go, keep the employer engaged with appropriate eye contact.
  3. BE GENUINE AND ENGAGED. Have a good presence by maintaining a positive attitude. Though you may feel anxious or tired, show your best to the employer. Take a break if necessary.
  4. HIGHLIGHT PROJECTS. If you have limited experience, use projects in your conversation starter to showcase your skills.
  5. DON’T PUT DOWN COMPETITORS. Be sure to maintain professionalism by focusing on the employer that you are talking with.


  1. SEND (HANDWRITTEN) THANK YOU NOTES. A thank you email is always a good follow-up, but sending a handwritten note by mail will be especially appreciated.
  2. CONNECT WITH RECRUITERS ON LINKEDIN. Be sure to send a targeted message when adding recruiters on LinkedIn.
  3. APPLY FOR QUALIFIED POSITIONS. You’re not done yet! Follow through with the required application process on SpartaJobs or the company website.
  4. REPLY TO REJECTION LETTERS. If some opportunities don’t work out, ask for feedback. Being graceful and appreciative can lead to future considerations for other positions.
  5. BUILD YOUR NETWORK. Networking can be done far beyond the fair. Find mentors to support you and talk to professors who may have personal connections to employers and industry professionals.

Using these tips can help you make your best impression at the job fairs. Good luck Spartans – the future is now in your hands!

Lynn Chang Photo

Lynn Chang is a Career Counseling Intern at the Career Center with San Jose State University (SJSU). Lynn has helped and educated many students with their career development. Lynn is finishing her Masters in Counselor Education at SJSU in December 2015. Her previous degree was in Graphic Design in University of California, Davis.

Welcome to start of a new semester.  The Career Center is here to help you Explore, Experience, and Launch  your career and the best time to start this process is when you first get to campus.  Each one of  our career consultants has shared their top tips for you and are featured below.  Check out our resources, meet the consultants who work with your colleges, and take advantage of the career and internship opportunities available to you through the Career Center.


  1. Connect to your interests

Nellie PhotoSet a goal of finding at least one way to connect with your career interest this semester. Make it a priority to attend at least one employer event on or off campus such as a job fair, a career panel or alumni mixer event. There are so many opportunities to get connected, and if you need some guidance with this, please feel free to connect with us. The earlier you start your career journey, the more successful you will be in reaching your goals.  Nellie Rochon-Ellis

Career Consultant: College of Applied Science & Arts (non health majors), College of Science nellie.rochon-ellis@sjsu.edu


2. Start your job search early

Catherine PhotoMany of the big-name companies start filling their summer-start positions in the fall.  Equip yourself for job/internship searching early.  We’re here to help! Catherine Voss Plaxton, M.A.Ed., M.A., PPSC

Employment Specialist: College of Business catherine.vossplaxton@sjsu.edu


3. Create a Job Search Agent

Donna PhotoYou can’t take advantage of all the jobs and internships available through SpartaJobs if you don’t know how to properly search and find them.  A job search agent will allow you to search by specific major or college and can help you identify the most relevant jobs/internships to your skills and field of study. Donna Gilmour

Employment Specialist:College of Engineering & Department of Computer Science

4. Learn to market your skills 

Denise PhotoStart practicing early in your college career to articulate and speak to your strengths and skills. You can use Big Interview to practice interview questions online without having to leave the comfort of your room.  Recordings can be sent to career consultants and we can give you feedback.  Denise Hamilton, M.A.

Employment Specialist: Colleges of Social Science, Humanities & Arts denise.hamilton@sjsu.edu

5. It takes more than a degree to land a job

Evelyn Photo

Know that a degree by itself doesn’t guarantee you a job after graduation.  In addition to your degree, getting experience while in school will increase the opportunities available to you. Meet with us early to increase your understanding of the job search process and to feel confident in your search! Evelyn Ramos

Career Consultant: Retention Services and College of Education Liaison

  1. Networking is key

aboutus_team_john_s_120Networking and getting internships are the best ways to find out what you want to do and land a job. John Salangsang

Internship Specialist john.salangsang@sjsu.edu

Contributed post by Omaid Homayun


When it comes to negotiating salaries, the majority of people that I’ve met were unprepared when the recruiter of a prospective company asked them the almighty salary question. Negotiating an increase of $3,000-$5,000 in your salary could equate to the cost of a new car over five years, so why not put in the work to prepare to answer the salary question with confidence?

Do Your Homework & Network!

When I fly to LAX I jump online to see what the going rate is on multiple airlines. Although I usually book Southwest, I also use multi-search sites like Expedia or Kayak to cross-check flight rates because I want to feel comfortable that I’m getting a good deal. In the same way, when I applied to become an Account Executive in sales for a specific industry, I checked sites like Payscale and Glassdoor to determine the range of compensation for similar roles. But I didn’t stop there. People like helping people; remember when Google Maps didn’t exist and you’d have to ask a stranger for directions? I’d reach out to a current employee of a company on LinkedIn to ask if they could help point me in the right direction.

Initially, approaching a complete stranger can be intimidating. While you might be hesitant to seek some advice, remember that online networking can be mutually beneficial. You may have a need for some insider information, but you can also offer something in return (future connections or help with a project).

You can send the person a message on LinkedIn with something like:

“Hi Kate,

My name is Jane Doe and I’m a student at SJSU in the marketing program. I came across your profile on the alumni network on LinkedIn and wanted to see if you’d be open to sharing some feedback on a position at your organization that I’m very interested in pursuing. I understand you may have a full plate, if you can provide any guidance or point me in the right direction I would greatly appreciate it.

-Jane Doe”

Trust that your approach with humility and openness will be effective and the majority of people will spare a few minutes to help you. In my experience, when employees responded, I would ask if they’d be open to a 10-minute phone conversation. If the chat went well, I’d ask if they’d be open to submitting my resume (since most companies offer a referral fee and it only takes 5 minutes, they often say yes). Regarding the salary question, after you’ve done research on sites like Glassdoor you can frame up the question with something like:

“Through my online research I’ve found that the typical salary range for a role like this is $60,000-$70,000 based on experience, would you happen to know this range is similar at your company?”

If you’re uncomfortable with that approach, politely ask the person if it would be okay to discuss the subject with something along the lines of this:

“This is helpful and I truly appreciate your guidance, would it be okay if I asked you a couple questions around the salary and incentives around this role?”

If you don’t ask, you’ll never know. If you ask politely and they decline, you can move onto your next question. From my experience I’d get my salary homework done and my resume on top of the pile since it was submitted to their human resources department by an employee.

Have a Plan & Don’t Give In

Have you ever thought of a situation where you theoretically knew what to do, but when you’re actually in that situation your mind draws a blank? That’s what happened to me with the consumer tech company I was interviewing with. There are primarily two questions you need to prepare for: How much do you make? AND How much are you looking to make?

Before delving in, it’s important to understand the purpose of these questions and why a recruiter needs to know. The reason they ask your salary is so there’s a baseline understanding that the salary expectations are within the range they’ve budgeted for the role. It’s a waste of everyone’s time to have several interviews if the numbers are too far apart. There is no one-size fits all answer, but what’s helped me in the past is approaching the subject with humility and respecting the person on the other side of the table.

My favorite salary negotiation book is Salary Tutor – Learn the Salary Negotiation Secrets No One Ever Taught You by Jim Hopkinson, it’s worth its weight in gold. Jim teaches that if you say a number first, you lose negotiation leverage. The goal is to deflect those two questions with questions of your own. It can go something like this:

Recruiter: How much do you make?

Candidate: My previous salary wouldn’t be relevant because I worked in a different industry, I would just expect fair market value for my skill set. Can you tell me more about what the job entails?


Recruiter: How much are you looking to make?

Candidate: I’d have to learn more about the responsibilities before I’d feel comfortable giving a number, can you tell me more about what the responsibilities entail?

While it’s Important to be a Ninja – It’s Not Always About the Money

The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), states that the average salary for students out of college in 2014 was $45,473. Perhaps you’ve done your due diligence in the negotiation process and you have multiple offers in hand, one for $45,000 and the other for $50,000. You may be excited about the higher offer and the potential to make more, but as a student you should consider the value of the experience more than the money because the difference of a few thousand dollars is not going to change your lifestyle at this point in your career. Cover your expenses and make enough to survive, focus on the opportunity and upside of the learning experience. Sometimes the job that pays a little less in the beginning could be the right job that plants the seed for an outstanding career.

What Else Can You Negotiate?

There’s a misconception among students out of college that it’s not okay to negotiate. In fact, it is completely okay and recruiters will respect you for it as long as your approach is sincere. Besides your salary, there are a number of other benefits to consider. Most new hires at Google receive Restricted Stock Units that could equate to $10,000 which they account in your total compensation package. If you’ve applied at an early stage startup they typically include equity, and most organizations offer a retirement plan such as a 401K where they also match your investment to a certain amount per year. You can also ask for other benefits like an extra week of paid vacation or an allowance for additional courses you can expense each year.

The most overlooked benefit is healthcare. If the company is self-insured they will have several options, but they usually only provide a close look at their plans once you’re hired. Tell them that healthcare benefits are important to you, and ask if they can share an overview of their benefits package. If you are family planning, there can be a significant difference of the annual cost from one company’s benefits versus another.

Let me give you an example of what I mean by a sincere approach. During one of my previous negotiations there was a significant delta in the base salary between my expectations and what the company was willing to offer. My response was, “I’m thrilled about the opportunity and I’m open to making lifestyle changes to a more economical gym or doing away with cable. By making those changes I may still have to move in order to pay for my monthly expenses, I’m wondering if there’s anything we may be able to do for an increase in the range of $10,000? Again, I’m willing to make sacrifices but I don’t want to have to move.” The result was a bump in my base salary and a one-time signing bonus. Depending on the role, you can negotiate for a one-time stipend or ask them to cover your moving expenses if you have to relocate for the job. Every situation is unique and you have to take into consideration what is most important to you, leverage these tips and you will become a salary negotiation ninja.

omaid imageOmaid Homayun works at Gartner where he advises tech startups in the bay area to help them accelerate their growth. He’s also held various sales roles at BlackBerry and Google. He’s passionate about helping others navigate their careers, and he writes about inspiring career advice and leadership stories on his blog called How to Find a Job in 10 Days. Reach out to him anytime there or on Twitter @omaidh.

By Allison Jones, Editor at Idealist.orgidealist

Q: How would a student get started on their internship search within the nonprofit sector?

  • Be clear about the kind of work you’d like to do: One thing people tend to underestimate is the sheer size and diversity of the nonprofit sector. On the one hand this is exciting as there really is a place for everyone! On the other hand, this means there is no single path to landing an internship or building a career in this sector. Of course, you don’t have to have it all figured out, but there is a huge difference between “I want a nonprofit internship” and “I want to intern at an education-focused nonprofit in Cleveland where I can put my writing, research, and social media skills to work.”
  • Reach out to current interns: If you have a particular organization or industry in mind, find a few interns who are already there. Ask them about their experiences, what they’re learning, what their next steps are, and how they landed the opportunity.
  • Ask your network for introductions and guidance: Does your career center know about nonprofit internships? How about your alumni office…can they introduce you to grads who are hiring at nonprofits? Or outside of school—are there nonprofits you volunteer with or that your family and friends support? Let people know you’re looking for opportunities, you’ll be surprised by the advice and support you might receive.
  • Hop online: Idealist.org has over 13,000 (!!!) internships listed by nonprofits, government agencies, and social enterprises from around the world.

Q: When interviewing for a nonprofit internship, how can a student set themselves apart?

  • Do research about the organization before you arrive: In addition to understanding their mission, has the organization been in the news recently? Who are the organization’s leaders and what have they accomplished? Good research helps you craft better answers and questions and gives you a sense of how you might fit in.
  • Emphasize what you can contribute AND what you hope to learn. Yes, an internship is a learning experience, but hiring someone is a big deal. It can’t be all about what you want.
  • Ask smart questions: What would you consider to be the most important aspects of this internship? What are some of the characteristics of past successful interns? Do you have any concerns about my qualifications as a potential intern? Here is a list of job interview questions: http://idealistcareers.org/175-questions-to-ask-during-a-job-interview/
  • Prepare for common questions: Why this internship? What are your strengths and weaknesses? I recommend Jenny Blake’s interview spreadsheet, which helps you gather information to common interview questions.
  • Be nice and professional. Seems obvious, but I’m putting it here anyway.

Q: I’ve heard that many internships within the nonprofit sector are unpaid.  Is this true?  What might be the value of having an unpaid internship for a nonprofit organization?

  • It’s called the job-seeker catch 22: You need experience to get a job but how can you get experience if you can’t land a job? Internships give you a leg up in terms of getting the experience you need to land better jobs in the future. However, there is a big debate in the nonprofit sector about the ethics around unpaid internships, specifically how they exclude people who can’t afford to take on an unpaid opportunity and how it can be hypocritical to support social change yet not pay people for their labor.

Q: What makes an intern different from a volunteer in the nonprofit world?

  • Legally? You can learn about that here from the Department of Labor: http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/whdfs71.htm and here http://form1023.org/what-are-employees-interns-volunteers
  • In terms of your career: How volunteer opportunities and internship opportunities look vary from org to org. Internships tend to be a bit more structured in terms of duties, title, support, and time than volunteer opportunities. The article I reference above from Nonprofit Quarterly also explores the difference between an intern and volunteer in terms of how they work within a nonprofit.

Q: What skills could a student focus on developing in their classes or activities that might be valuable to showcase on their resumes when seeking an internship in the nonprofit sector?

Two things:

  1.  A commitment or interest in the social sector, demonstrated through volunteering or praxis. Yes, courses are important, but getting hands-on experience is always best. 
  2.  The ability to start and complete a project that has compelling and successful results. You want to demonstrate that you’re a high achiever and can get things done.

Q: What are some tips that will help them have a successful internship with a nonprofit organization?

  • Make sure you get tangible accomplishments under your belt. You want to show future employers you can be successful so work with your manager on setting clear goals. Here’s how to keep track of your accomplishments at work http://idealistcareers.org/are-you-keeping-track-of-your-accomplishments-at-work/
  • Set personal goals. Outside of what you need to do on the job, are there skills you want to learn? People you want to meet? Leverage the internship to help you get there.
  • Learn how to manage your manager. Best piece of advice I’ve ever gotten, not just for internships but for work in general. This is likely the most important relationship you’ll have at work so getting a good sense of his/her needs and how you’ll best work together is key.

Good luck!

Allison Jones is the editor of IdealistCareers.org, a publication of Idealist.org that shares tips and tricks for people who want social impact careers. Join Idealist Careers on Twitter @IdealistCareers or on Facebook at facebook.com/IdealistCareers.

Upcoming Connect Event!  Allison’s colleague, Kara Montermoso, HR Manager at Idealist.org, will be on campus on Tuesday, March 18 to talk about How to Launch your Nonprofit Career.  Workshop will take place 12-1pm, Student Union Ballroom.  At the conclusion of the workshop, stay for the Nonprofit & Public Service Fair, 2-4pm, Student Union Ballroom, network with local non-profit and government organizations and find your next job or internship!

Feeling Inspired?!  Check out this video about using Idealist.org to find your new job with meaning.

In coming weeks we will be featuring student career success stories to motivate you to take the next step on your career journey.  We’ve outlined some key steps each student took to reach his/her goal and will share relevant resources.

 Edward Leeedward intern
B.S. in Electrical Engineering
Lab Assistant Intern at UL Inc.

“… Represent yourself well and understand the importance of your network.”



Edward’s Steps to Success:
• Networked with friends, family and classmates
• Spent time writing a strong resume
• Prepared and practiced interviewing
• Utilized career center: Resume review and appointments with career consultants

Edward’s Story:

Edward was a freshman planning on majoring in Electrical Engineering. He chose to pursue that major because he enjoys working with his hands, has a keen interest in renewable energy, and truly believes he can make a difference in the world by becoming an engineer.

Edward wanted an internship to gain experience in engineering, but was lost on how to begin his search. He talked with his friends, family and even networked with classmates about where to find internships. At one of his classes, career consultants from the Career Center came to present a Resume Workshop that helped him find out where to begin his search and motivated him to work on his resume. Afterwards, Edward applied to many positions he found off of Google and after one full semester, his efforts received no responses from the perspective employers. Discouraged, Edward took a break from his internship search until he heard from a friend about an internship opening. Edward wanted to know more about it, and his friend gave him the email of the hiring manager.

Edward made sure his resume was well written, and then spent time making sure he wrote a professional email to the hiring manager, clearly explaining who he was and what kind of skills he can bring to the table. Not long after, he received a response asking if he’d like an interview. Edward was thrilled, but he felt extremely nervous as he never had any interview experiences.

Edward sought assistance with the career consultant he had met from his class workshop and they worked together to prepare for the interview.  On the day of the interview, Edward arrived ten minutes early to review his notes and was ready. A few weeks later, he received an offer. His two pieces of advice to those who are searching for internships are to represent yourself well and to understand the importance of your network.

Feeling Inspired?

Don’t miss Internship Awareness Day February 11, 2015 from 12:00pm – 2:00pm at Student Union Ballroom B. Students can win prizes, grub on free food and check out our fun resource tables to learn about internship opportunities, their value and important tips to finding one.

Still Looking?

Check out our “hot internship” list of current opportunities on SpartaJobs!

By Britany Tufnell – Career Counselor Intern, SJSU Career Center

entertainment-career-resolutions (1)

Happy New Year Spartans! As you start to plan for the year ahead and begin the spring semester, it’s also time to starting thinking about your career goals for 2015. Whether you are a graduating senior returning for the home stretch or a “frosh-faced” student chipping away at requirements, this semester offers much potential for success!

Take this time to reflect a bit and envision some of your career goals. What steps can you take this year to bring you closer to the career of your dreams? How can you better yourself professionally and build your brand? I offer you a catalyst for becoming your future self: INTERNSHIPS. Whether you have already started preparing to apply or have never considered an internship-you are in luck! This is internship season and the Career Center is here to help you reach your goals.

I cannot express enough how beneficial internship experiences can be on your professional journey.  I did not become aware of the benefits of an internship until my second year of graduate school. The professional experience and personal growth gained are priceless. I wish there had been more emphasis on internships in my undergraduate program; it would have made a huge impact on many of my career choices. To spare you the regret of not starting internships earlier in my career, I’ll pass on my top reasons to get an internship, so that you can seize these opportunities NOW!

  1. Try Before You Buy

Internships are the best way to get your feet wet in an industry that you are interested in. They offer you the opportunity to discover your niche and what a company’s culture is like. Interning is a great way to build on your strengths, discover your weaknesses, and find out if this occupation is the right fit for you. You may discover it is everything you thought it would be and more or that you may actually want to take a different path in life. Whatever you decide, you will come out on the other side wiser and prepared to make an educated decision about your future.

  1. Expand Your Network

Networking is the key to success. This has been one of the most used skills I have picked up from my internship and graduate program. You will be amazed at how connected your co-workers, professors, and fellow classmates are in the realm of your desired career field. Social media has made it convenient and easy to form and keep up with those relationships. If you do not have a LinkedIn yet, create one today. If you have an account keep it updated, active, and professional. LinkedIn is the best way to make and find connections, as well as research your industry, and find internship or job opportunities. A wise professor once told me, “treat every day at your internship like a job interview,” so when that job opportunity arises in the future, your name will come to mind.

  1. Become a Professional

Hands down, one of the greatest benefits from my internship has been increased professionalism. From writing emails, to participating in staff meetings, to one-on-one sessions with clients, I have learned to examine and perfect how to communicate as a professional. As an intern you are a member of the team with the advantage of being the one there to learn, observe, and practice. Take every shift seriously and put forward your best self. Set up informational interviews with co-workers and practice interviewing and conversational skills while gaining valuable insight into the field. Be sure to send follow up thank you notes. Jump on opportunities that arise such as assisting with projects and events or interviewing for open positions. Everything will be a learning opportunity; even if you stumble you will have that experience to grow from for the future.

  1. Gain a Competitive-Edge

We all face that Catch-22 when it comes to landing a job; you cannot get the job without experience, but you cannot gain experience without the job! Taking on an internship in your field will teach you valuable transferable skills that can boost your resume and give you the competitive-edge needed to land the job. Building your brand starts with self-awareness of your skills. The most beneficial part of my graduate program has been my internship with the Career Center. The hands-on experience has prepared me more than all of my classes ever could because I am able to apply my skills and knowledge in real situations.

Feeling inspired to check out internships in your field of interest?  Here are some steps to launch a successful internship journey!


Sign up for SpartaJobs Create your SpartaJobs profile today and gain access to more than 2,000 internship and job postings  (across all majors) only open to SJSU Students & Alumni. 


Career Center’s Internship Resources Check out our awesome online resources to help you get started on your internship journey from the comfort of your home. Learn how to write a successful resume, prep for the interview and select the right position for you.


Gain all the tips and insights you need to make the most of your internship through our Internship Success Stories (via this blog and Facebook Fan page) as well as by attending Internship Awareness Day  February 11, 2015 from 12:00pm – 2:00pm at Student Union Ballroom B.  Don’t have time to attend? Then, watch our Top 10 Tips for Internship Success Workshop


BTufnellPic (1)Britany Tufnell is career counselor intern at the Career Center and graduate student in the Education Counseling Program here at SJSU. She has a background in Psychology and Child and Adolescent Development where she spent many years as a youth counselor, teacher, and caregiver. Britany currently enjoys working with adults in higher education and is passionate about helping others reach their goals that bring them closer to creating a meaningful life.

by Anita Manuel, M.A.Program Manager & Career Counselor

You’ve heard it a million times.   The best way to get a job or internship is through your network.  But, where to begin?   I’ve attended my share of networking meetings, mixers and also presented workshops on networking and I have to say there are a few themes that standout in making the whole “networking” experience successful.

1. Don’t make it complicated.  Networking is just a fancy word for talking to people you already know and developing new relationships.  It’s about connecting with your current friends, family members, and colleagues but with the intention of letting them know what it is you are looking for and asking for their assistance in reaching that goal.

2. Pay it forward. The people who I’ve met that were most memorable were the ones who actually cared about what my needs were as well as sharing their needs with me.  In other words, it’s not all about you!  Kindness and generosity go a long way.   The holidays are a perfect time to reconnect with people in your current network and thank them for their support or their friendship.  In return, they will ask what you are up to..and this is your chance to share what you are seeking.  Example:

You:  “Hey Uncle John, it’s so good to see you.  How have you been?  I loved seeing your family photos on Facebook.  How are things with work and your family?

Uncle John:  “Oh thanks for asking…things are going great and I’m super busy trying to juggle work and being a new dad. What are you up to, how’s school?

You:  “Wow, I can imagine you have a lot on your plate.  If you ever need a break I’m happy to babysit sometime (offering something first!).  School’s actually going really well and I love my XYZ class.  Only challenge is now that I know what I really like I’m not sure how to get an internship or some experience.  How did you get started in your career? (asking for information second!)

Uncle John: “I totally understand.  What kind of internship are you looking for? You know what, our company hires HR interns OR…”you know what I have a good buddy who works in HR, I can connect you two if you want…”

Simple, but you just networked!

3. Make time to reach out.  I hear many people say, “I just don’t have time to network.”  Truth is…You do! Are you on Facebook?  Are you on LinkedIn? Do you tweet?  Social networking has made it very easy to connect and stay in touch.  Once you reconnect with some people on-line be sure to make some time to meet in person.  Social networking is great, but face-to face networking is still important to making meaningful relationships.  Plus, it’s the holidays, everyone is home or visiting and it’s the perfect time to meet up with people in your network.

4. How do I meet new people? This by far is the hardest part of the networking process—making new contacts.  The key is to identify what you are looking for and figure out what you might have in common with other people.  As a student the number one thing you have in common with a large base of people is your university affiliation.  That’s right, the best group of people to reach out to are alumni.  Alumni have an understanding of what you are going through as a student, have professional connections, and are willing to help you learn more about their careers and offer advice.  Go to www.linkedin.com today, make your profile (it’s easy and free) and then join some groups related to your major and field of interest.  If you search for SJSU in the group search box you will find over 100 SJSU related groups that are open to SJSU students.  These group forums post discussions on industry trends, job and internship opportunities and offer you a way to connect with “your people.”  **Remember, this is a professional network, it’s not Facebook, keep it clean and professional.

5. Say thank you and follow up!  If you do meet new people take the initiative to follow up with them and thank them for their time or shared resources.  Again, of those people that I have met, the ones that I remember and want to continue to support in my network were those who sent me an email or follow up message.  The super stars also shared something helpful related to what I had stated I was seeking…for example, an interesting article or name of a person I should follow up with.  You can be sure that in the future I will not only remember who they are but will do my best to be helpful to them as well.

 Feeling inspired to connect? Check out these networking groups and resources:





Anita has worked in the career counseling and higher education field for the past 12 years.  She has worked in the recruiting field as well as internship program management for higher education.  Anita works with students on all career related topics and specializes in development of creative programs to support career education.


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