Undergraduate Blog / Career Development

Leveraging your Connections

Wherever you are this summer, whatever you’re working on, we all have one thing in common. The people that we are working with are amazing and have a lot more professional experience than we do. It’s important to reach out beyond the work questions. Ask for career advice; hear about their path and what led them to their current job, or really, anything.

It’s so important to leverage your connections right now while you’re working with them since they’re right by your side. It’s much easier to ask these questions and hear a great explanation or advice in person rather than through emails. For me, this has been one of the best things that I can take out of my summer here at the SEC. I love the people I work with and they all have been in completely different paths. People have worked for the FBI, private firms, and the Big Four accounting firms before they ended up all in the same space at the SEC.

Everyone is incredibly helpful and wants to help you as much as you have helped them with the work you are doing. When you’re asking a question or hearing about a different project that you’re being put on, take some time to ask about them and hear about their experiences. Use this opportunity to develop yourself professionally. You’re practicing your networking skills as well as getting some of the best advice you probably can from actual professionals in the industry.

For me, my boss has amazing connections to one of the big four accounting firms here in the Boston area. He’s been more than happy to connect me to these professionals so that I can get my foot in the door and hear more about the work that they’re doing and what they expect when people interview for these positions. He offers to listen to what I’m thinking about pursuing and gives me advice on how I should tackle that situation. These conversations are some of the most beneficial and I’ve learned so much while I’m here. What I thought I wanted when I came into this summer may not be exactly what I’m going for anymore. I think I’ve found my path and now I just have to work towards getting there and it’s all thanks to using my connections and interacting with the amazing professionals here.