I can remember sitting in one of my first college classes listening to my professor talk about building your board of directors. I was confused; what did I need a board of directors for? I was just an 18 year-old freshman who didn’t have a clue what I wanted to do with my life. At this point, my board of directors consisted of my mom, my best friend and the professor from this class. Luckily, I’ve built up my board of directors during the last few years.
During college, you don’t realize how many relationships you establish and maintain. From professors to professionals, if you do it right, your list should be very long. Throughout my college career, I made sure I got to know professors and introduced myself to every professional that spoke at our PRSSA meetings. By the time I graduated, I had a nice group of contacts. I had used these people as my board of directors, asking them questions about classes, internships and anything else I needed help with. However, after graduation, I wanted to take my board of directors to the next level.
When I started my job search, I would send tons of resumes out each week via email or online applications. After a few months of that failing, I started reaching out to my board of directors. If they didn’t know of any jobs, they gave me the name of someone who did. Within the last two months, I’ve talked to about 20 people. Each has given me advice about my résumé, cover letter and the job search in general. These connections have proven much more effective than just sending my résumé everywhere. During this process, I’ve grown my board of director from primarily Philadelphia contacts to contacts in New York, Washington D.C. and Chicago.
I never thought something I learn during freshman year would turn out to be so helpful. I’m glad I paid attention to what my professor said and used it to my advantage. Making contacts and building relationships, both inside and outside of your field is always going to be beneficial.
How have you built your board of directors? Feel free to share your tips and stories with me!