PWR Networking


Guest Blogger Kelsey O’Connell ’14

My name is Kelsey O’Connell, and I am a senior Professional Writing and Rhetoric (PWR) concentration major, Multimedia Authoring and Creative Writing minor. I’m taking CUPID Studio in the fall of my senior year to prepare for my PWR Senior Sem. My class has engaged in several projects so far this year. First, we worked on our resumes and then our portfolios. Now we are involved in client projects. My project involves working with two peers to create PWR Alumni Profiles for our website.

We have created a LinkedIn group for PWR students, staff, and alumni to gain prospective alumni for profiling, sent out questions to interested alums, and compiled profiles to use on the PWR website. My group has been very successful compared to years past, and we are looking forward to surpassing all our goals.

One thing that I have learned from this project is the value of networking. Networking is extremely important to get the alumni profiles that we need for the PWR website. As a group and individually, we have reached out to former classmates, colleagues, and coworkers. Those conversations have been fruitful, resulting in several already completed profiles. We utilized Linkedin primarily, in addition to email, to connect with people from our past to benefit our future.

Networking benefited us for this project, but it will also benefit us when looking beyond Elon. Starting with this project, we are making connections with PWR alumni that will help us down the road. These connections are invaluable to get advice for job searches, to get leads on potential job openings in our field, and to reconnect about the things we learned about rhetoric during our time at Elon.

1. Advice for job searches: As a PWR major interested in publishing, I’m well aware that it is very difficult to get a job in my field. Now that I have connections with people who went to Elon and now work in PWR fields, I can set up informal phone or email interviews to find out how they got their jobs as well as what they learned throughout the process.

2. Potential job openings: While I believe that your most important goal throughout the process of speaking with alumni should be to pick their brains about ways to excel in the job search process, there is always potential to get a tip on a job opening from a connection.

3. Reconnect: In addition to learning about jobs and job openings in the PWR field, it is also beneficial to talk to fellow PWR students and alumni about things you learned in class and the projects that you contributed to together. Think of it as a refresher course for your rhetoric skills.

Not only will these connections help my group down the road, but they could benefit you as well. I have been speaking to an alum from Elon about publishing, and it’s been really helpful. I would recommend reaching out to the Career Center and asking for a mentor to speak with about jobs, especially if you’re a senior. Additionally, once you connect with a mentor or an alumni, I would recommend providing them multiple times to talk or writing reasonable length emails, as well as asking pointed questions to get the most out of your conversations.

Look for our alumni profiles on the PWR website, and feel free to contact me if you’re an alumni interested in contributing! And join our PWR LinkedIn group for students and alum!


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