As mentioned in my last post, I am so excited to start my new job with Kroenke Sports & Entertainment in just a little bit more than a week! I am so thankful for all the support I have gotten from family and friends and seriously can’t wait to get this next chapter going. For the first time since graduation (almost an entire year!), it is such an incredible relief to know that I will have a permanent position and I’m so beyond lucky that it is exactly in the field I want to be in.
While I know I have the necessary skills, personality, etc. to have landed this job, there is NO way I would have gotten the job without networking. Ahh, the dreaded “networking”. I have never been “good” at networking and really didn’t know what it really meant or how to use it to my advantage until this situation. Plus, I don’t like feeling like I am asking someone to do something for me, so this has always been one of my professional weaknesses. But, after years of trying to figure it out (trust me, the UNC journalism school does not hesitate to let you know the importance of networking) I finally figured it out.
While on the job hunt, I saw the posting for my new position. I sent in my resume and did everything else the application required. Usually, this is about as far as I go in the application process on my own (aside from sending emails to check on the process later on). But, considering the fact that I was literally counting down the days until unemployment and didn’t really have any serious leads at that point, I decided to try something else, something new.
I knew my boss had worked at KSE before coming to the Broncos a couple years — no idea in what department, or how long, or really anything other than that she had been there. I decided to ask her just to see if she still knew anyone that still worked there and might be able to reach out for me. Seems easy enough, but for me it was quite a big deal. Like I said, I don’t like feeling like I am asking someone to do something for me and I get more nervous in those type of situations than probably anything else. I had to mentally plan out when I was going to talk to my boss and exactly what I was going to say. With my stomach in knots, I explained to her that I had applied for the position and just wanted to know if she still knew anyone in the company. After looking into it for less than two minutes, she realized she knew and had worked with the person hiring the position for more than ten years — how lucky for me! My boss said she would have no problem writing her former colleague with a recommendation — more than I had even asked for!
The rest is pretty much history. I had a couple interviews with KSE, but hands down, it was the recommendation from my current boss that put me at an advantage. I never really knew how to “network”, but now that I have sort of figured it out, I understand exactly why it is important and exactly how much it can help! Definitely something I will continue to use in my professional career and encourage any young professionals to do the same!