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Let's be Thankful for Networking! (How I Landed My First Job)

Posted by Sadie Stresky on Fri, Nov 21, 2014 @ 11:11 AM

Greetings, Bearcats! 

Fall is one of my favorite times of the year. Besides enjoying colorful leaves, apple cider, and cozy sweaters, I love the general atmosphere of giving thanks and showing our appreciation for one another.

One of the things I’m especially thankful for is my job. I feel incredibly lucky to work somewhere like 321Blink. Every day is an opportunity to learn something new and solve unique challenges. What’s even better is the collaborative environment we have – my bosses truly care about our ideas and concerns, and our team is tight-knit.

You may be wondering where jobs and internships like this can be found. The short answer: NETWORKING! As I’m about to show you, the more people you create meaningful connections with, the more opportunities there will be. Disclaimer: if you want the short explanation, scroll down to the numbered list below.

My “meaningful connection” happened during my sophomore year at SVC. Walking through Alfred after class, I saw a bulletin board outside the Financial Aid office listing various scholarships students could apply for. At the time, it hadn’t occurred to me that scholarships existed for people already in college, not just high schoolers. One of the listings was for the Michael Wolff Scholarship Award given through the Media Association of Pittsburgh (MAP). Intrigued, I decided to apply. What would I have to lose? A few months later, I got a phone call from MAP – I won the scholarship and was invited to accept the award at their annual Outstanding Achievement in Media Awards!

That April, I went to the awards dinner with my parents and professors. During the cocktail hour, I was introduced to Tim McLaughlin, president of MAP at the time. As we talked, he asked me about my interests and career goals. He called over his business partner, Tripp Clarke, and they told me about a brand new marketing agency they started called 321Blink. “Keep in touch,” they said as we all took our places for the dinner and awards to start.


Receiving an award from my future boss.  Who knew?

After that night, I checked up on the fledgling company from time to time but had nearly forgotten about my conversation with Tim and Tripp. It had gotten mixed up in the excitement of getting to be at the awards in the first place. Besides, why would I need to think seriously about job opportunities? I was just a sophomore!

Fast forward to my senior year, when looking for jobs DID matter. It was a daunting, overwhelming experience, and frankly, I wasn’t having much luck. (Looking back now, I was pretty unrealistic with what I was applying for, but that’s a lesson for another time). Then, I had an “aha!” moment: what about 321Blink? So I reached out to Tim and received a quick response. “We were just talking about you. There’s a position opening up that you might be a good fit for. Why don’t you stop by and we can chat?” Bingo!

On the day of my interview, I nervously asked an older woman for directions, and she very kindly stopped what she was doing to walk me over to the office. As it turns out, her brother was a Saint Vincent alumnus and has been a lifelong friend and donor to the college! I took that as a positive sign and mustered up the courage to give the best interview I could.

Needless to say, after a few months of interviews and waiting (mostly waiting), I finally got the job offer to join 321Blink as their social media and marketing strategist. The rest is history.

321Blink team at Penguins game

Some of Team 321Blink at a recent outing.  Let's go Pens!

Well, there you have it. If you’re going to take away anything from my story, let it be this:

  1. Don’t be afraid to apply for scholarships or leadership roles. You have nothing to lose and so much to gain!
  2. Make an effort to keep in touch with your connections every so often. Sometimes landing a position is a matter of being in the right place at the right time.
  3. Not every networking experience will lead to a job or internship. Do it anyway.

I wish you the best of luck in your job search endeavors, and if you’ve had an interesting networking experience, please share it!

Topics: alumni advice, Sadie Stresky, Thanksgiving, networking

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On our alumni blog, young graduates of Saint Vincent College share their thoughts, stories and tips on life after graduation.

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About the Authors

Jessica Kennedy

My name is Jessica Kennedy. I graduated from SVC in 2012 with a dual major in accounting and business management with a minor in international business. While at SVC I was on the swim team as well as being involved in SGA and SAAC. I am currently the Assistant Director of Business Affairs at the Naval Academy Athletic Association in Annapolis, Maryland, where I reside with my dog, Zoey. I also own my own photography company, KennedyPhotographyCo, where i display and sell my prints on Etsy. I still swim and have also taken up running and have ran over six half marathons in the last three years. 

Elizabeth Sosko

My name is Elizabeth Susko, and I am a 2015 graduate of Saint Vincent College (mathematics major with a secondary education certification). After Saint Vincent, I moved away and became a high school Math teacher in the Northern VA area. I couldnt imagine being where I am today and I hold some of that journey to being a Bearcat.  Cant wait to share my daily adult life (post-undergrad) experiences with you!

Megan DePrimio

Hello there! My name is Megan DePrimio, and I am a 2013 graduate of Saint Vincent College (communication major and English minor). I also have a master’s degree in sports management from the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio. After grad school, I became an athletics marketing intern at the University of Notre Dame and I now work in Development. Every day I am amazed at the path I have been on since I was a young Bearcat. Even the planner in me couldn’t have forecasted this journey! Happy to be here. 


Allyson Lambert graduated from Saint Vincent in December 2013 with a degree in finance. She currently works in the Financial Leadership Development (FLD) Program at PPG Industries in Reno, Nevada.