Three evenings a week, I work as a “Lehigh Liner” as a part time job. Basically a liner is a telemarketer but instead of trying to sell stuff over the phone, we ask for donations to Lehigh and various organizations existing at Lehigh. We focus our efforts on alumni and parents of students. Most nights, I am lucky to have three or four worthwhile conversations, the rest are no answers, not available, or hang up before we have time to talk.
As a student, I enjoy calling alumni because I like to hear what kind of success people have gotten after attending Lehigh and any stories/ advice they have about Lehigh. Unfortunately, oftentimes people are incredibly rude over the phone and really make us feel bad for calling them. I understand that some people have no desire to donate to Lehigh (which is fine), but I still appreciate a good conversation or politeness when declining to speak with me.
Because I now make calls to strangers, I have a newfound respect for others that do it as well. Rather than being rude to them, I will now politely decline their offer or at least listen to what they have to say. I think it is important we all try to do this. It’s important to understand people make these calls because it is their job. They aren’t doing it because they want to annoy you and waste time. Making phone calls is a job for a lot of people and we should try and respect that they are working hard and working legally to make money. So instead of being rude to them, just let them say their spiel and be respectful.
In College, we (students) are given so many opportunities to network and meet new people. A lot of us don’t use the occasions. Seminars and lectures are offered almost daily that anyone can attend and, they’re free. A lot of these seminars are aimed at upperclassmen looking to get jobs and internships once they finish school. Career expos and resume seminars are meant to help these students land good jobs outside of Lehigh. These events often provide useful information and are meant to help students succeed.
As a freshman, these event aren’t targeted towards me but I still go to what ever ones I can (as long as my schedule allows). Yesterday I went to a seminar called “ethics of a job offer”. It was about how to negotiate, accept and handle job offers that a firm may offer you. The speaker gave tips on how to interview, when to accept, and how to know if a job is right for you. Being a first-year student here, I haven’t gotten any job offers and probably won’t for the next 2 or 3 years. Still, I found this information useful and I am really glad I went. It gave me a chance to meet professors I might have in the future and speak with upperclassmen who are also in the business school. Through this seminar, I was able to get my name out there so when I do start looking for jobs, I will have a competitive edge over other students in my class.
What I am trying to get at here, is that it’s important to make an effort to help your future self. Even though I may not use the skills I learned now, My future self will be glad i spent time going to these things. Maybe, when I do start interviewing, some one will recognize my name and recognize meeting me a couple of years before (It is hard to forget the fish-out-of-water when there is one freshman among hundreds of seniors at a career expo). The connections I may make could prove to be very useful in the future.
Basically, there is no negative outcome of me going to these events. In the future, I’m not gonna think, “Damn, I wish I hadn’t spent all that time meeting professionals and learning about topics that pertain to my major.” That won’t happen. The worst possible outcome is I don’t use the connections in the future. I will still be glad I made them and learned from these lectures because Its good practice for when I do start looking for a job.
Even for those not in school, this advice can help you too. Try to go to social events at your job or community because it could be really beneficial for you. As an introvert, I would rather be alone reading a book or playing a video game, but I recognize the benefits of attending these events and I always end up learning something I didn’t know before.