Allison Cheston, Career Connector

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Career Connector Blog

Access: The Toughest Ticket in Town

 
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My 17 year old son is looking for a summer internship, and I was able to connect him with someone who works for an environmental consulting firm—his field of interest.

So yesterday he went to their office and interviewed with two of the partners, who then offered to introduce him to a number of non-profits focused on various aspects of environmental science.

This morning he and I had a chat about the meeting and how he should follow up. He told me what he would say in his follow-up email to those he had met. It included a thank you, some playing back of the key points from the meeting as he and I had discussed, and the most critical part—next steps.

He said he would ask for a list of non-profits focused on the environment.

As soon as he said that I thought, that is typical of so many younger job hunters.  They neglect to realize that they themselves can do the research. What you really need and want from a senior person in your field of interest is access, not information. What you need to ask for is: Can you connect me to people in the field who might be willing to talk to me?

Access to decision-makers is the golden ticket. Information is everywhere, it just needs to be found.