The Selling Factory

WHY YOU SHOULD START NETWORKING IN COLLEGE AND HOW

Written by Yoo Hyeon Park

A marketing student at the University of Florida, Yoo Hyeon interns at The Selling Factory, enjoys interacting with consumers and finding solutions for potential needs of the consumers.

Have you ever been exhausted from applying for numerous jobs and receiving rejection emails? You must be in the same boat with me because I surely have been disappointed by another email saying “Sorry but we decided to move on with another candidate.” Sometimes, I am left up in the air without knowing what happened to my job application.

Working at The Selling Factory opened my eyes to see a better way of landing a job. Instead of spending 3-4 hours searching for jobs online, I should have used that time for networking connections, contacting alumni, and working professionals.

Matt Youngquist, the president of Career Horizons, advises many young professionals to take some time to speak with employers because “the vast majority of hiring is friends and acquaintances hiring other trusted friends and acquaintances.” In fact, “at least 70 percent, if not 80 percent, of jobs are not published,” he says. (NPR Choice, 2019)

Networking not only leads you to connect with employers, but it also allows you to become an employer yourself. One of The Selling Factory alumni, Erin Winick, shares that someone whom she connected with within college helped her to find an incubator for her startup company, Sci Chic (Sci Chic is a science-inspired, 3D printed jewelry retail). Winick adds that her network also came in handy in life. Before moving to London, she already knew friends who could help her to settle.

4 Tips to Build a Network

  • Get out of your comfort zone. This may sound obvious but not many people have the courage to cold call when reaching out to people, especially those not in your area of expertise. Though studying mechanical engineering in college, Winick now works in a unique sector as a Science Communications Specialist for the Internal Space Station. In college, she wishes that she could have networked with people who aren’t directly related to her studies. “I am curious if I missed the opportunity to network with others that shared my interest,” she says. Research shows that only 27% of college graduates had a job that was closely related to their major (Liberty Street Economics, 2013).

    You don’t know what you’ll be doing yet in the future, so why don’t you challenge yourself to broaden your network across industries now? Who knows what opportunities will pop up?

  • Maximize your LinkedIn account. In the 2018 Recruiter Nation Survey, 77% of recruiters used LinkedIn to find candidates (Jobvite, 2018). This means that you will have more access to job opportunities via LinkedIn. If you don’t have a LinkedIn account or haven’t updated your profile in a while, do so now because you are missing out on career opportunities. Stay active! In addition to sharpening your profile, connect with your peers and alumni, and comment and share posts relevant to your industry. Although you may tend to socialize more on Instagram, try to put equal or more effort into your LinkedIn account than your Instagram account.

  • Everyone has to eat. Many professionals are very busy even if they mean to help you. Ask someone to meet over lunch. This is a good time to chat without having to carve out their valuable time. Before you meet with them, write out the questions you would like to ask and let them know the topic you would like to discuss. Winick suggests thinking about what you could also offer them in return. “The best relationships are not one-way but two-way relationships,” says Winick.

  • Make 100 new contacts each month. Volume is a big part of securing a job through networking. “It takes X number of contacts to get this many appointments, to get this many chances of actually getting a sales opportunity or a job,” Youngquist says. (NPR Choice, 2019). Pretend that you are a sales development representative who is responsible for selling ‘you.’ If you are actively looking for a job, then you should make at least 100 new contacts each month by cold calling recruiters via email, sending connection messages on Linkedin, and attending company events for face-to-face encounters with employers.

    If you are still struggling to find a job online without making personal connections, change up your strategy. Revisit your past connections and establish new connections. Be proactive in building relationships with people, even if they may not be directly related to your industry field. You never know how your network connections will help you in the future!

    Building your social circle will help you to go a long way in life. That’s why I put together 4 tips on how to network.

Sources: 

  1. NPR Choice page. (2019). Npr.Org.

  2. Do Big Cities Help College Graduates Find Better Jobs? -Liberty Street Economics. (2013). Newyorkfed.Org.

  3. 2018 Recruiter Nation Survey. (2018). Jobvite.

Kira Baker

Campaign Manager

Kira is a recent graduate from the University of Florida where she received her Master of Science in Entrepreneurship. She is passionate about helping businesses grow and connecting with new people. Some of her hobbies include traveling and hiking. She hope to visit all of the National Parks one day!

kira@thesellingfactory.com

Jared Glosser

Vice President

After graduating from UF in 2014 with a B.A. in history, Jared started his professional career Fundraising for a non-partisan political lobby in South Florida. In 2016, Jared moved back to Gainesville to work for a non-profit, recruit students for international travel opportunities, and pursue his MBA at UF. Jared has been with The Selling Factory since 2019 focusing on operations, client onboarding, and client success.

jared@thesellingfactory.com

Ian Massenburg

Chief Operating Officer

A graduate of University of Florida (B.A. 2001), Ian Massenburg brings over 18 years of sales executive and sales management experience to The Selling Factory. Before coming on-board, Ian worked alongside Brad at Infinite Energy, and then spent his next 3 years as VP of Partnerships selling SaaS products B2B. Ian brings his vast knowledge and experience to the team and to our partner companies served.

ian@thesellingfactory.com

Damien Paulk

Campaign Manager

Damien is a University of Florida graduate that recently joined the team full time after working as a Sales Development Intern for one year. As a Campaign Manager, Damien looks forward to contributing to the growth and success of The Selling Factory. When Damien is not at work he enjoys exploring Gainesville with his girlfriend and dog or watching the Gators dominate college football.

damien@thesellingfactory.com

Brendan Viehman

Campaign Manager

Brendan graduated from Liberty University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Project Management. For the past 5 years, he has enjoyed working with blockchain technology and cryptocurrency development. In his free time, he surfs and makes personal finance videos for his YouTube channel.

brendan@thesellingfactory.com

Savannah Howard

Campaign Manager

A graduate from the University of Florida’s College of Journalism and Communications, Savannah obtained her Bachelor of Science in public relations with a concentration in French. After almost two years as a sales development intern for The Selling Factory, she joined the leadership team in 2021 taking on the role of Campaign Manager. In her free time, Savannah enjoys going to concerts and festivals and cooking for her friends and family.

savannah@thesellingfactory.com

Zack Kampf

Campaign Manager

Zack is a creative technologist with experience in advertising, event planning, and game design. He started as an SDR in 2018 and has been with TSF ever since. Upon graduating UF in 2019 he became a campaign manager and is currently seeking a master's degree from NYU. In his spare time, you can find him at the intersection of Art & Technology!

zack@thesellingfactory.com

Josiah Blakemore

Campaign Manager

Josiah has over 8 years of sales experience, worked with Brad and Ian at Infinite Energy, and also spent time selling SaaS as Director of Partnerships at SharpSpring. He’s always been very competitive and has a love for sports and games. He enjoys solving problems and coaching team members to do the same!

josiah@thesellingfactory.com

Sue-Ming Frauenhofer

Marketing Manager

Sue-Ming received both her B.S. in Psychology and M.S. in Management from The University of Florida. As a student, she led a psychology research lab on goal achievement and life satisfaction and took on multiple roles while interning at The Selling Factory, including sales development, marketing, and recruiting, eventually leading to her current role as Marketing Manager. Through her creative and methodical vision, she engages both students and entrepreneurs to help them find their version of success.

sueming@thesellingfactory.com

Adam Grossman

Chief Development Officer

Adam is an ordained rabbi, who has founded multiple ventures focused on workforce development. Hired as CEO by a failing non-profit, in over 5 years, his ingenuity saved the organization, which led Slingshotfund.org to recognize it as one of North America’s most innovative Jewish non-profits. His expertise to identify, cultivate, and on-board talent ensures our student teams meet our partners’ needs.

adam@thesellingfactory.com

Brad Gamble

Chief Executive Officer

After graduating from UF in 1999 with a B.S.B.A, Brad Gamble has dedicated himself to sales management, branding, coaching, and building companies. He served as the VP of Sales & Marketing for Infinite Energy until 2014, when he founded The Selling Factory. He has dedicated himself to teaching critical skills to tomorrow’s leaders, and helping companies achieve sales success and revenue growth.

brad@thesellingfactory.com