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By Dylan Trang–I’m sure many have heard the saying, “It’s not about what you know; it’s about who you know.” I, personally, have heard this many times throughout my life. I can even recall feeling discouraged by it at times when thinking about my life after graduation.

What if I don’t know anybody that can help me with finding a job?
What if people less qualified than me get the jobs because they have more connections?

These are a couple question,s out of the many, that have crossed my mind over the years.

It’s sad to say but the saying is sometimes true. People with less experience than others sometimes get fast-tracked into a position simply because they have connections. Whether it is their family, friends, or professors, these connections tip the scales in their favor.

Simply put, this is why I am blogging today. I hope to encourage those of you who are currently feeling the way I have felt in the past.

Connections Only Take You So Far

As a senior graduating from The University of St. Thomas in May 2016, I have to say that my success is credited to the work ethic and maturity I gained from my four years here. Although it was discouraging seeing friends get hired simply because of their connections, I decided the only thing I could do was continue my hard work.

What many students do not understand is that connections only take you so far. Your connections may get you an interview, but it is up to you to prove what you know in order to lock in that position.

Do Not Take School Resources for Granted

I am proud to say that every past job for which I have been hired, I landed mainly because of what I know. Although I earned the jobs, I must share credit with a few people. Believe it or not, these “people” are actually professors here at the University of St. Thomas. This is the one connection that every student has access to. Therefore, there is no need for feeling discouraged. I can say that despite not having vast connections outside of school, the knowledge and skills I gained from my professors are what helped me the most.

From Workshops to Business Communication and Public Speaking courses to Senior Seminar, I have learned a tremendous amount. I learned skills for interviewing, presenting, writing solid resumes, and much more. All of these skills and tools combined with knowledge and training in my field of Finance have prepared me for the real business world.

The resources provided for all students should not be taken for granted. I learned that going to a workshop or class just to fulfill a credit can be a huge waste if nothing is retained.

Despite the fact that workshops were a required part of my grade, I must say that I have learned something new at every single one I attended.

The tips and knowledge I retained from the workshops, combined with my communication classes, truly helped prepare me for a Job Fair I attended at the University of Houston.

Texas Job Fair – University of Houston

Although the Job Fair was not mandatory, I decided to take Dr. George’s advice and attend. Prior to the job fair, I made sure to research information about the tables I was most interested in. I believe this helped set me apart from other students at the fair. Out of the three recruiting companies I spoke with, all three asked for my resume as well as scheduled interviews.

The warm-ups I learned from a Public Speaking course, combined with resume and job fair workshops, gave me the confidence I needed to stand out with recruiters.

Summing Up

I am writing about this to prove that it is NOT only about who you know. As someone with zero connections to the companies or recruiters I received offers from, I can proudly say it was about what I knew.

I would like to wrap up my blog by urging all readers to continue your hard work. I guarantee that it will pay off someday.

Although I am not against people using as many connections as possible, I simply advise everyone to not rely solely on those connections.

Whenever you feel discouraged, just remember, It’s Not Only About Who You Know!

If I can get three offers from three different companies with ZERO connections to them, you can too!

Dylan Trang

University of St. Thomas – 2016 BBA in Finance

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