By Rosanna L. Cappetta, Age 26
One of the best pieces of advice I ever received was to network, network, and network. It has been said time and time again, “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” And this doesn’t mean that the one who climbs to the top isn’t competent, but rather, the one who reaches the top is both capable and connected in some way. I cannot count how many times I heard a friend or classmate say she got a job due to a recommendation by someone she knew. In today’s world, getting a job or getting accepted to a school is more competitive than ever. And this is why it is so critical to network and make connections that will last a lifetime.
Speaking from experience, establishing a network is essential to landing that job you always dreamed of. I was in law school when my older cousin, who also happens to be a role model and mentor, told me that I should attend networking events and start getting to know people in my field or similar fields. I realized that with this economy and the surplus of lawyers, I had to stand out. Connecticut is a small state with a lot of people – so for those of us coming out of school, this means more people competing for fewer jobs. Getting good grades and being involved in extracurricular activities would not be enough. I started attending events and reaching out to people in the business and legal communities. Throughout my law school career, I built relationships with professionals who were able to help me with job and internship opportunities. In fact, I am at my dream job not only because I proved to my supervisor that I am capable back when I was an intern, but also because I made connections and made it known that this is where I wanted to be.
One of the things I enjoy the most is to empower younger women (which is why I LOVE being a part of the YWR steering committee). The number one thing I tell anyone coming to me for advice is that they should make networking a priority. Networking events have become more and more popular and there should be no reason not to go, especially when they are free! You never know who you will meet (or if there will be free pizza). Take it from me: build a network, establish connections and reach out to people. Who knows, you may meet your future boss at the next event you attend!
Young Women Rising encourages Connecticut women ages 18-35 to raise their voices about issues they care about. Each writer speaks for herself as an individual and Young Women Rising as a whole does not intend to endorse the views of any particular writer. If you’re interested in submitting a guest piece please contact us at Michelle.Noehren@cga.ct.gov.