My senior year of college, I was constantly attending various mock interview sessions and alumni networking events, convinced that unless I picked up the skills and strategies taught at these seminars, I was going to be unemployed forever. Of course I was totally wrong. While these events were certainly helpful and gave me plenty of practice, there was something about memorizing my 10-second elevator pitch that felt forced. I’ve always considered myself to be pretty emotionally intelligent, and I realized that none of these conversations I was trying to pre-develop in my head could possibly seem genuine. If I ever found myself in a situation speaking to an employer of a company that I dreamed to work for, my gut reaction would absolutely not be to go on a 10 second rant about my career goals. That would be so awkward. I realized that these seminars were a lot like the difference between taking a class about a certain industry vs. doing an internship in that industry. While the class gives you the basic knowledge and understanding, you have no way of knowing what your strengths are or what your challenges may be, until you are actually in that situation. Upon graduation, I moved to Los Angeles, and decided that I wanted to come up with my own strategy for networking, that didn’t feel forced, and didn’t feel like work.

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