Network towards your first choice job

As you’re settling into your internship, you may be happy to find that this is the perfect job for you! Let’s face it, though, that doesn’t always happen. There’s a very real chance that you took this position planning for it to be a stepping stone… or as your summer continues, you realize this position may not be as good a fit as you’d hoped. This week, we’ll discuss what you can do to keep making strides towards that first choice career.

1. Drink your coffee (or tea, or some sort of nifty frozen beverage): this is the time to connect with people in person in a way you couldn’t while you were in school. Your summer schedule, while busy, should allow you a little more flexibility to connect in person. Whenever you talk to anyone via phone or email, be sure to ask, “Do you have time for a cup of coffee?” (This is especially helpful if you are in the city where you’re hoping to land after you finish school.)

2. Keep following up: you did a huge amount of networking over the past year while pursuing your internship – keep that momentum going! Make sure you stay connected with the people you met who can help you get to that first-choice position and find a way to meet up with them before summer is through.

3. Look towards your preferred city: if you’re not currently in a place where you’d like to live after school, make plans to get there after your internship. Firm up those dates now and get on people’s calendars before they fill up.

4. Explore your preferred firms: take advantage of the many opportunities available this summer to get to know a company, such as happy hours, educational panels, and networking events. If you are in the city you hope to land in later, this will help you build your case for ending up at that company; even if you’re hoping to move elsewhere, this will give you a chance to get to know the firm’s culture and continue developing your story around why it’s a perfect fit for you.

5. Leverage your school’s alumni events: your MBA program has all kinds of events going on in your current city, from brunches to sporting events to career panels. Get on that email distribution list to ensure that you are aware of all of the networking opportunities coming your way.