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A recent article in the Ram, published just last week, addresses the so-called “clumsy” organization of Fordham’s networking resources. The Editorial Board at the Ram makes the assertion that the Fordham website functions counter to the University’s goal to emphasize the importance of networking. They also make the claim that the liberal arts students of Fordham Rose Hill are shorted by lack of mandatory networking events and by a lack of initiative and involvement on the part of the professors in the networking process.
I want to begin by deconstructing the whiny tone and circular logic this article is grounded upon.
The Ram makes the claim,
“To acknowledge the importance of networking for students searching for employment, but to bury the information about the few networking opportunities available for Fordham students is contradictory.”
Well, to that I say: To acknowledge that there is no excuse for not utilizing all available resources possible, and to then write an article making excuses as to why students are not utilizing all available resources possible, is pretty contradictory as well.
It would seem that the Fordham Liberal Arts student, as per the Ram, defines “burying” information as: not getting an email in your inbox each day, telling you exactly what to do and where to find it. Venture with me through this “clumsy” journey on the path to adulthood. Ah! I believe I have finally excavated it.
Resources —> Career Resources —> Career Services —> Services —> Networking Opportunities —> Networking Panels.
Perhaps you still deem this an inconvenience. Luckily, each Fordham student has access to their own personal, exclusive CareerLink portal, beyond the myfordham.edu page that only gains traction from over-ambitious 11th graders. It provides a management system and directory through which you can contact employers, set up interviews, and view a calendar of networking. If this just doesn’t cut it and you are still desperately seeking to evade the strife that navigating a website entails, by all means, make an appointment, and just ask.
There is even an arrow! Just in case anyone was confused!
In fact, I didn’t even have to go so far as to make a case for Career services — all of the resources available to the Fordham student are listed in the Ram article to begin with! They basically did the work for me:
“Contact information for tens of thousands of alumni are available in the alumni directory hosted on Fordham’s website. Career services also tracks recent alumni employment and makes the information accessible to the public.”
In their attempt to give voice to the counter-argument, they basically made their entire article a moot point.
True, it seems to be the case that Gabelli is given an extensive amount of “hand holding” in the job-seeking department. According to the Ram article, Fordham even goes as far as to mandate attendance at most of these networking events. Perhaps they have something else driving them to place their graduates at prestigious firms (i.e. endowments, donations, etc)? Firstly, this isn’t even accurate. Nothing in college is “mandatory”… “mandatory” is just a loaded phrase to intimidate students. It is a call to action. Is that what we need? A weekly injunction from the University?
Perhaps the problem is the student, and an epidemic of laziness couched in dissatisfaction.
Humor me and skim over these formal definitions of networking:
Network…a system of things which are connected and which operate together
Networking requires mutual communication…”a large number of people (or institutions) that work together as a system and have a connection with each other.” The process of trying to meet new people who might be useful to you in your job (or other endeavor), often through social activities.
You want direction?
I hereby mandate you to read on.
You don’t have to be an extrovert to network
Networking can be an intimidating prospect for many college students. As I see it, there is a misinformed correlation between extroversion and networking skills. Networking connotes a certain type of personality…the outgoing and verbose among us. It can seem like a daunting task if you feel that you really don’t know anyone “in the industry.” Surely, there is a case to be made for, say, the more reserved candidates who feel they are hovering on the threshold of “being annoying” or “overwhelming” when networking. Firstly, if communications is the field you are pursuing, perhaps reconsider. Secondly, I believe the self-fulfilling prophecy of being “shy” will only serve as an excuse for so long. There is no room for subliminal messages when job/internship hunting. You can’t go poking alumni on Facebook and hope they take the hint.
COMM MAJORS: Attend the internship seminar class (thanks Fordham, for making this a necessary evil)
Career Services is just one of the tools this fine University provides us with as we make that move from being a (in-debt) student to a gainfully employed adult. One of the best resources I discovered was the “internship seminar class” that I was required to take (4 credits, btw). Yea it was fucking annoying, but aside from my teacher’s odd fascination with hearing us talk every week about how uneventful our days were, it was a grossly underrated resource this school requires to receive credit for a communication’s internship. I was in a class filled with people that interned everywhere from Elle Magazine, to Martha Stewart, to SONY, to Hearst. Paul Levinson and Brian Rose are all we need in this world.
Abandon the false idea that “She only got that job because she knew someone” / “She only got that job because she is lucky” is an insult
There is a bizarre, unwarranted stigma associated with getting a job because you “know someone.” I interned at a theatrical advertising agency because I met with someone at Career Services who put me in contact with an Alumni in PR. I interned at FOX because I got in contact with my Theology teacher’s niece who happened to work with a girl I used to go to high-school with. I now intern at The Tonight Show because I knew a senior who interned there and asked her to pass my resume along.
I once overheard someone discredit my achievement and say I only got it because I knew someone. Or better yet, because I’m lucky. Well, I’ll tell you one thing. Those people surely did not come knocking on my door. I unapologetically asked about them, and it wouldn’t have been Fordham’s fault if I hadn’t. Luck is when preparedness meets opportunity. You put yourself where you want to be, and you need to be ready for it when it happens. You can’t just sit back and wait.
Don’t blame NYC, embrace NYC
We are in New York City, and while it may be competitive, the worst thing you can do is sell yourself short by excusing yourself of the responsibility to take an initiative and find that ever-so-coveted direct e-mail. Fordham can modify their website aesthetics to fit your preferences, but the road to getting your foot in the door at a company will always inevitably be clumsy. That’s the thrill of it. You can blame the economy (which plays its part in the discussion), you can blame the University, you can even blame your parents, but if you want something, go out and get it. Do the leg work on your own behalf, it’s not really “buried”. OJ’s knife is “buried”, the Dead Sea scrolls were “buried”…It may not be in your face, but it’s not buried… it just requires a few extra keystrokes to discover.
Bottom line, E. Board @ the Ram. You can’t expect opportunity to seek you out. By not taking the pre-emptive measure of asking a professor about prospective job opportunities, you are doing yourself a disservice by not responsibly utilizing your resources. You have to seek out opportunity. The resources are there, we just have to be willing participants in our future. Most importantly, beyond using the resources…talk to people. The only “personalized approach” necessary is on OUR end.