April brings not only showers, but often sullen forecasts about job prospects for college grads as well. So University of Rochester students are learning how to open doors, make friends in high places, and improve their chances of landing a job through networking.
About 100 students have enrolled in a two-hour workshop that might be dubbed "Schmooze 101" at 4 p.m. Feb. 15 in the May Room of Wilson Commons on the University's River Campus. They'll hone meet-and-greet techniques with representatives of such local organizations as Eastman Kodak Co., Xerox Corp., Chase Manhattan Bank, the United Way, Urban League, Visitors and Convention Center, City and County government and area schools.
The program begins with a networking exercise led by Ellen Bevan, Ph.D., of the University's Center for Work and Career Development. Next, five panelists will tell students about their own networking successes and failures, and there will be a short, hammy skit about networking NO NOs.
Representatives of companies and organizations -- many of whom are University alumni -- will field tricky questions like these:
How do I get past secretaries whose job it is to screen me out? What kind of message do I leave on phonemail? How do I make a totally cold call? How do I ask if they know other contacts? When do I bring out the resume?
The event is sponsored by the Center for Work and Career Development and the Office of Minority Student Affairs.