Earlier this semester, I wrote a post about the importance of connections and how they can spark exciting opportunities. It is all about who you know and what you’re willing to do with that knowledge. On the contrary, who you are willing to know is equally important. I am applying for a couple of internships at Showtime Networks, a highly coveted position. I knew that merely submitting my application materials was not going to help me stand out. Based on my workshop experience with the Office of Career and Professional Development, my job experiences and the advice of family members, I decided to put myself on the line. And I was pleased with the results.

Using LinkedIn’s meticulous search function, I searched for Connecticut College alumni who currently work at Showtime. I was able to utilize this nifty trick thanks to my career adviser, Dot Wang, who taught me how to do it. My search led me to two former Camels who have both myriad experience in the entertainment industry and budding careers at Showtime. I connected with the pair of them via direct message. I explained who I was, what I was looking for and how I would love to connect in order to get my foot in the door. Bridget Nagel ’01, the director of emerging platform marketing, and Gregory Heller ’08, the director of program marketing and advertising, sent me enthusiastic responses that would assist my internship hunt in various ways. Bridget asked to speak with me on the phone to answer any questions I might have and better assist me on my journey. Gregory suggested I send him my resume and cover letter so that he can hand it directly to the hiring managers. Things were really looking up.

I spoke with Bridget one afternoon after class. The first thing she asked me was, “How’s Conn?” I informed her that it is likely much different compared to her experience but the passion inherent throughout the student body remains nonetheless. Bridget was helpful in outlining each position I applied for and even gave me tips to help my application rise to the top of the pile. We chatted about Showtime and I told her that the network has produced some of my all-time favorite shows (Dexter, Shameless, The Affair, Twin Peaks: The Return…). Bridget said that it’s great I love the programming and am so well-informed about the network’s strategies because that makes me a perfect fit. Before signing off, I thanked her for her time and, more importantly, thanked her for upholding Conn’s legacy off-campus and beyond.

I completed my applications over the next couple of days. I sent Bridget a thank-you email and forwarded my materials to Gregory. As I write this, I await news regarding the next steps. I am confident that my passion showed through in my correspondence with Bridget and Gregory. Conversations with alumni in the field are a learning experience in themselves. In the end, I am proud of myself for shamelessly networking. Throwing yourself out there isn’t easy. But the potential success of a new connection thwarts that anxiety and envisioning a place in the company motivates unabashed action.