Just over a month has gone by since I started my operations and marketing internship with Boly:Welch, and it’s allowed me some time to reflect on receiving this opportunity and how networking really made all the difference. As a third-year marketing and advertising student at Portland State University, I knew internship season was rapidly approaching, so I decided to take a shot at making some solid connections at the annual PSU Alumni Networking Dinner.
At the event, students were assigned to tables with volunteers to ask questions and learn more about business and networking etiquette. By chance, I was placed at a table with Boly:Welch recruiters Cory Mlady and Moira Farnsworth, two talented professionals who imparted their knowledge about the staffing and recruiting industry and the awesome company culture at Boly:Welch.
When I started my search for a summer internship months later, I struggled to find a position that felt like a good match. Feeling somewhat discouraged, I applied to the Emerging Leaders Internship (ELI) Program after learning about their model of matching underrepresented college students with paid internship opportunities. The program’s mission is to increase diversity across industries such as technology, business services, and outdoor apparel. During the initial stage of the ELI interview process, I was placed on an interview panel with a select group of employers, including Boly:Welch’s Business Development Director, Shea Washington. After the interview, I connected with Shea on LinkedIn to discuss meeting his colleagues Cory and Moira at the networking dinner and my desire to be ‘matched’ with Boly:Welch.
A few weeks went by, and although I had received a few interview offers, very few aligned with my experience and career goals. So when I got a call from Shea asking if I would be willing to come in and interview with the team at Boly:Welch, I was ecstatic. The subsequent interview and office tour exceeded my expectations and put things into perspective for me. As a women-owned business and a B Corp, Boly:Welch really embodied the mission and values of a company I would be proud to represent.
Not long after my interview, Shea called me to extend an internship offer and I accepted without hesitation. Initially, I believed it was luck that scored me this awesome opportunity. Now I’ve come to realize that it was a blend of savvy networking, solid connections, and great timing that helped me land my perfect internship. In my time at Boly:Welch, I’ve been given the opportunity to learn more about operations and marketing and was even able to recruit my good friend Amanda to a permanent position on the team as Digital Design Manager. My big takeaway? The power of networking cannot be overstated. It can help cultivate meaningful connections and open doors to transformative experiences.