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  • Kate Friedel

It’s all about who you know- Networking in Memphis

Students who are interested in joining Meeman 901 Strategies come to me with many questions, the most common being “how will this help me?”

How can joining our student-run PR firm aid in your (not so distant) job search? Your professional network will blossom and grow with each client you are involved with and each project you work on with us.

A piece of advice you might hear from your parents, teachers and friends is that ‘it’s not what you know- it’s who you know.’ That is extremely important to remember, especially in a small, tightly-knit business community like Memphis. When you begin your job search you will get interviews based on who is in your network. The people who can help you get the job might include that small business owner you met at a PRSA meeting, the professor who saw your hard work in their class and the non-profit organizer who just so happens to know the right people. Every contact you make puts you one step closer to landing the job.

Here’s where Meeman 901 Strategies can help you. We work with large corporations and small businesses alike. We have worked on projects for MLGW, MIFA and the American Heart Association, meeting professionals and making contacts with every meeting. The Chucalissa Museum and the Crews Center for Entrepreneurship offer smaller, more personal experiences with professionals. Meeman 901 offers students the opportunity to show off their work and ideas directly to possible employers or references.

Several Meeman 901 team members have been offered internships and the possibility of jobs at companies we represent. Most of our team members also work part-time internships at Memphis businesses, such as: Baptist Memorial Health Care, Cocoabeens Communications, Signal Flow PR and Leadership Memphis. We each have our own personal networks, meaning we can help to build yours.

If Meeman 901 isn’t in the cards for you, there are plenty of opportunities to build your network in Memphis. Get involved with the business community by making yourself known! Go to the PRSA lunches (PRSSA students get a discount), attend an Undercurrent networking event, check out the MULYP (Memphis Urban League of Young Professionals), or volunteer your time with some local non-profits (Volunteer Odyssey, Give 365, Young Women Philanthropists of Greater Memphis and Volunteer Memphis are just a few of the many).

The best way to begin building your network is to get yourself out there! Introduce yourself, have your business cards on hand and be proactive. It might be nerve wracking for you, and not everyone you meet will help, but the best way to make a network of useful contacts is to sell yourself to everyone you meet. Be the person that is known around town as being hard-working, useful and bright. Build your brand, build your network and you will come into your own as a young professional with the help of the contacts you make.

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