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Tips from the women who are currently working their dream jobs (and likely your dream job too).

 

This summer, I had the opportunity to (virtually) intern with an amazing fashion brand. As part of the internship program, I participated in mentor chats with leaders from companies like Google, Rebecca Minkoff, NASDAQ, Rag and Bone, ELLE Magazine, VaynerMedia, Harper’s BAZAAR Magazine and more. Through these mentor chats, I was able to hear the stories of how different women got to where they are today. While no two stories were the same, many contained similar lessons and pieces of advice. Here are some of the things I’ve learned through speaking with women who inspire me this summer:

Make connections

A common theme throughout my conversations this summer was connections, how to make them and how to maintain them. When it comes to making connections, you really have nothing to lose. Put yourself out there.  Reach out to people who work for the company you want to work for. Set up informational meetings with people but be sure to be prepared with questions so you don’t waste their time. 


It’s important to be genuine with your connections. Get to know people and build relationships with them. Avoid calling people out of the blue with a big ask. Remain in contact with them and be genuine. Big asks won’t seem so big when you have a genuine friendship with the person you’re asking.

Use LinkedIn

If you’re not already on LinkedIn, get on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is definitely the easiest way to start making connections as a college student, especially while most people are still stuck at home due to COVID-19. Find people who work for the companies you want to work for and send them a message, you never know where it might lead.

 

It’s also important to invest in your LinkedIn profile, use it to tell your story. Share your experiences, build up your resume and portfolio to stand out to recruiters. 

 

Speaking of recruiters, find recruiters and message them on LinkedIn. Tell them about yourself and your passion for their company. Follow up with them after your conversation. Be aggressive enough to show how much you want to work for the company but not too aggressive that you scare them off, find a happy medium.

Think outside the box and work outside your job description

Don’t hesitate to apply for a job you’re overqualified for. If a company you want to work for is hiring but you feel you’re too qualified for the position, apply anyways. Start out at the company with this role and work your way up. Go above and beyond what you are asked to show your bosses what you are truly capable of. Whenever you see an opportunity to show off your skillset, take it.

Be your own advocate

It is essential that you advocate for yourself at all levels of your career. If there is something you want, the only way you are going to get it is by asking for it. Nobody is going to make your success a priority but you.

Samantha is a junior studying Broadcast Journalism and Criminology at the University of Kentucky.
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