Monday, July 2, 2012

I Love this Story about Networking!

Hey Prof. McHie,

"So Friday after meeting with you and handing my transcripts to HR at my government job, I was on the metro going home when a "police emergency" caused Brookland and Fort Totten stations to be closed.

On the bus from Rhode Island Ave to Takoma I sat next to a gentleman who works for the Department of Homeland Security. We chatted a bit; he asked about my educational and professional background, my interest in investments and asset management, and offered to share my resume with some folks in the CFO's office. I just received an email from him notifying me that he will pass it along to their investment team which works to optimize
defense and minimize threats through military investments. This seems
like a great opportunity for me to combine my interest in investment
management with my experience within the government sector.

This reminded me of the importance of networking and being prepared
at all times. I would not have known to strike up a conversation on the
bus if it had not been for the techniques I acquired from the MSBA

I won't publish this students name on the off chance his current employer might see the blog but I can't help but be proud of our program and this student for teaching and practicing these skills.  It reminds me of my personal networking story recounted below.

As a junior at the University of Kentucky, my Econ professor read an announcement to a class of 200 students that Exxon was going to be on campus for job interviews AND, they also wanted to interview ten juniors for three summer internships in their regional marketing office in Memphis, TN.  I had worked in an oil refinery at home in the summers so I really wasn't looking for a summer job.  But I knew I needed the interview experience for my senior year so I went to career services and signed up for one of the ten slots.

I had a good interview with Jerry Adams and soon received a letter (yes, a letter, this is way pre e-mail!) inviting me to fly to Memphis for an interview.  And they would pay for the ticket and hotel. How cool was that! So I went and had a series of interviews and, lo and behold, got another letter offering me one of the internships. (the other two went to a Purdue and a University of Tennessee student)  I accepted the offer and had a wonderful experience as an intern with Exxon. 

At the end of the summer they offered me a job when I graduated which I happily accepted and the rest; a wonderful 34 year career with a great company that took me all over the world, was history.  But that's not the end of the story.

When I reported to Birmingham, AL after graduation for my training assignment, it just so happened that Jerry Adams, my first face at Exxon, had been promoted to a Sales Supervisor position in Birmingham and was my boss.  At a cocktail party one night, someone asked me what path led me to Exxon.  Before I could answer, Jerry piped in and said he recruited me at UK from a list the school gave him of the top ten juniors in the business school!  I laughed out loud (well, I wasn't in the worst 10 either) and told him how I really came to sign up for the interview.  I think he made me promise not to repeat that story but the statute of limitations has surely expired.

I have always valued that story as an example of taking advantage of every opportunity that comes your way; just like our lucky graduate at the beginning of the note.

Professor Stewart McHie
Program Director, MSBA

No comments:

Post a Comment