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Professional Confessional

A blog providing tips and resources for life after college

Connections are KEY for Getting Inside the Door

The career fair is not the only way to explore companies and connect with employers. Job shadowing and career treks allow students to take an inside peek by visiting companies, meeting professionals, and experiencing the culture and daily operations. Over winter break, 60 students went to New York City for a career trek in the following industries: media/communications, public relations and advertising, fashion and retail, and fine arts administration. The students learned that the “Big Apple” is not so big once you make connections with professionals and friendly Wake Forest alums in the city. Read Erica Bullock’s student perspective on the experience. Learn some tips on how to navigate a trek experience.

Erica BullockErica Bullock – Student Guest Contributor

2014 M.A. Candidate, Communication

Upon first learning of my acceptance to participate in Wake Forest’s NYC Career Trek Program through the Office of Career and Personal Development, I was very excited. Here I was, a graduating Communication M.A. candidate, getting the chance to meet with so many people in my field of interest (Media/Communication), including other students. With the Career Trek orientation, networking tips, resume reviews, and detailed itinerary, the Office of Career and Personal Development prepared us extremely well going into the experience, and I felt particularly ready and equipped.

Once I flew into New York, settled into my hotel room, and met all the other students, I instantly felt relaxed and motivated. Everything was well-organized, the staff was very coordinated, and the companies we met as a group were phenomenal (Viacom, Turner Broadcasting, Hearst, the Mets, Southern Living, and FWRV). The representatives from these companies (mostly former Wake alumni or affiliates) were extremely friendly, helpful, and their advice and knowledge about the industry proved to be extremely useful. In addition to visiting different companies throughout New York City, a reception was held for us to meet more Wake alumni from the fields of fashion, public relations, and advertising. Overall, I found that our trip really gave students who weren’t from the New York metro area a chance to experience a taste of the city.

Since I was from the New York metro area, following up with these companies over the winter break became an important next step. I made sure everyone who spoke with us during our visit in December received a thank you email, as well as a hand-written thank you letter, noting that their time was appreciated. For the companies that I had an interest in, I requested informational interviews, and as a result of meeting with them a second time, I was able solidify some contacts and learn more about my field of interest. Knowing that these people were here to help us made networking feel natural and comfortable (which, for a shy person like me, was huge!), and I came away from my Career Trek experience tremendously grateful and confident about getting back into the working world. One thing is certain: Wake truly looks out for Wake. Go Deacs!

This is only a snippet of what one student experienced on the trek.  Read what other student trekkers experienced during their adventure in NYC.

Watch the video for an exciting look inside the NYC career trek experience.

Category: Professional Development

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