Thanksgiving Networking Challenge – Take the challenge and enter to win an iPad mini!

Eller PDC PDC Events 44 Comments

Networking Challenge

Are you up to the challenge? At the Professional Development Center, we challenge you to network with 1 – 3 people over Thanksgiving break and tell us about it in the comments below. One random comment will be selected to win an iPad mini. Contest ends midnight on Friday, Dec. 5.

3 Easy Steps to Networking While Home
Thanksgiving and winter breaks are, no doubt, a great time to spend with family and friends, catch up on sleep, and take a relaxing break from the chaos of school. However, the holidays can also present valuable opportunities to get ahead in the career search process. Below are a few tips that you can do to take advantage of your time at home for Thanksgiving break:

  1. At the dinner table talk to your family about your career goals. Ask your parents and cousins or aunts and uncles about their career paths. Maybe you didn’t even realize your aunt works for a Big 4 accounting firm, or has a good friend in the entertainment industry.
  2. As you meet up with friends back home, talk about your career goals and upcoming internships. Maybe they (or their parents) have a connection.
  3. From the comfort of your computer – Thanksgiving is a great time to send greeting cards or emails to contacts in your network. The messages can mention some of the things you’ve been doing while in college and academic achievements that could lead to potential internship opportunities. While you’re at it, clean up your LinkedIn profile, and connect with your extended family.

Comment below for your chance to win an iPad mini! Tell us what you did to expand your network over Thanksgiving break. Contest ends midnight on Friday, Dec. 5.

Comments 44

  1. Over thanksgiving break, I was able to network with the CEO of gecko pest control here in Tucson, Bret Holland. Bret was inspecting my home, when I decided to strike up a conversation with him and we ended up talking for quite a while, and we were able to network with each other. It was a great experience.

  2. This Thanksgiving Break, I reached out to a UofA and Eller Alumni who is a Senior Consultant at Deloitte Consulting in Seattle. He currently works in the Strategy and Operations group, and I have been speaking to him for the last few months about his experience at UofA, Eller, past Accounting experiences, and his MBA. We have been chatting about careers at Deloitte, but mainly I am hoping to grasp a deeper knowledge of Strategy and Operations to hopefully find the right path for my career.

    We are meeting tomorrow (November 26th) to have coffee and chat.

  3. Judy: Sitting next to me, I met Judy on the airplane while traveling to LA for Thanksgiving break with my family. We talked for the full hour and 15 minute ride about our life – past, present, and our future goals. She has a son and a daughter (both in their 50’s and engineers) and her grandson is 25 and owns his own auto shop. She made the plane ride feel as if it were a 5 minute drive.

  4. During this thanksgiving my aunt, uncle, and cousins came to visit us in Arizona from Chicago. The first ay they got here I new that I needed to do this challenge but I figured I would do it over thanksgiving dinner. But without knowing it, I already networked with my aunt within the first hour. We talked about how I want to go into marketing at Eller and how I have been getting into sports marketing and how I would love to move to Chicago post graduation. She then told me I should do marketing for the Chicago Blackhawks. She then talked to me about a girl she knows who is a marketer for an Ohio hockey team and how she got there. It is amazing how easy it is to network.

  5. Over this thanksgiving break I sent thoughtful emails to the people I hope to do business with in the near future. Additionally, I solidified plans to attend a sustainability conference in San Diego.

  6. While on break for Thanksgiving, I met many new people. I went to spend the break with my sister in Houston, TX. She is 3 years older than me and works for a digital advertising company. I met a few of her coworkers. Not only that but she had a friend who was a personal accountant for a few families. I want to be an accounting major so this was a great connection for me to make. She gave me some tips and ways to make myself stand out when applying for a job after college. In addition to these two instances, I met one of my fraternity brothers who graduated from Texas Tech and was working for a financial firm. It was really cool to meet him. He gave me his number and told me to contact him if I was interested in an internship. This Thanksgiving break was awesome for me and opened a lot of avenues for my professional career to develop.

  7. This Thanksgiving break I met Michelle, who works in the human resources department of Victoria’s Secret, through my sister who is a merchant at Victoria’s Secret. I relayed my interest of interning at the company for the summer and Michelle was able to set me up with the College Recruiter. We had a conversation on the phone and it showed me how useful networking can be.

  8. Over Thanksgiving break I was able to network with a friend of my aunts, Shelly McCloud. Shelly works for Wells Fargo in the Finance department doing corporate finance. She has been working for Wells Fargo for over 15 years. Over Thanksgiving dinner I spoke about my goals of getting into to finance post graduation and my aunt recommend me speak with her friend Shelly. I emailed her and set up a time to get coffee. We met and discussed her position and what her day to day duties entailed. I learned a lot from her experience and she even said she would send my resume to her boss to recommend me for an interview. I am so grateful I took my aunts advise and especially thank the Professional Development Center for challenging me to reach out to my family members.

  9. Over Thanksgiving break, I spoke with a handful of my friends about my upcoming MIS internship next summer at Honeywell Aerospace in Phoenix. I found out that several of their parents work at Honeywell, and they gave me their contact information so that I can ask them about how to make the best impression while I am there next summer, and what they look for in great interns.

    I also sent an email to my former boss at my last internship at Sunquest Information Systems who wanted me to keep in touch with him about my future career plans, and he also provided me with 2 contacts of his that work at Honeywell Aerospace would be helpful in answering any questions I may have.

    Overall, I gained 6 new contacts at the site of my future internship through networking over Thanksgiving break.

  10. Over Thanksgiving dinner I was able to network with a family friend, Donna. I explained to her how I would like to apply to law school after graduating next year. She then went on explaining how she is really good friends with one of the admissions counselors at the University of Arizona’s law school and gave me their contact information. Plan on reaching out to them soon and getting some advise!

  11. Over Thanksgiving break I met up with a lot of old high school friends and caught up. While at one friend’s (John Stratigopoulos) house I discussed my intention to apply to Eller professionally over the spring semester with a major in marketing. His mom (Diane Stratigopoulos) overheard the fact that I was looking to get an internship over the summer in my field of interest. She told me her husband is on the board of directors at Delta Dental and they have a marketing internship program. I was able to talk with John’s dad who told me that they have had success in the past with Eller Students and gave me his email to send a resume for him to forward to the head of the Internship program at Delta Dental. This experience has taught me the value of networking and the power of relationships you build with others everyday..

  12. Over thanks giving I was able to connect with my sister Stacey Shea who is a project manager for Mitchell and is a nominee for the top 25 business professionals under 25 in San Diego. I was also able to connect with my dad, Rich Shea, who is a Senior VP of US Bank. By talking about business with my sister and dad I was able to learn a lot about the business community in San Diego and about the non-profits they are involved in.

  13. I work part-time at The Gallery Golf Club in Marana, AZ. Thanksgiving marks the beginning of the golf season in Arizona and as a result many of the members that reside in northern states during the summer begin making their way down south for the winter months. I was assisting one of the members friday morning as they were getting ready to head out to the course and through some friendly small talk I mentioned that I was majoring in accounting at the University of Arizona. Come to find out her and her husband have been CPAs for over twenty years. Though she was only by the golf shop for a few minutes she shared a little about her career and I let her know some of my career goals. She offered to answer any questions I ever had and even invited myself to meet with her or her husband in the future. I will be seeing her frequently at work and intend on networking more with her and other members of the golf club moving forward.

  14. Last Tuesday I was at a local eatery watching the U of A basketball game when I ran into a gentleman named Steve. We got to talking and found we shared a Systems Engineering Degree and have (had in his case) many of the same professors. One of those professors had started Modular Mining a few years back and through talking, I found that Steve works for them. He promptly gave me his information and we connected the following day, even finding we share other interests like cycling.

  15. Over this Thanksgiving break, I took the opportunity to reach out to a collegiate recruiter from Paycom, a company that partners with my professional business fraternity. I originally set up a brief informational interview over the phone with Patrick Holder. However, after speaking with him on the phone for nearly an hour, he insisted that he wanted to set up an in-person interview at their Phoenix office. In a few weeks, I will be meeting with the Regional Sales Manager up in Phoenix all due to putting in the effort to arrange a simple phone call and forwarding my resume. A little effort can truly go a long way, and I look forward to taking a closer look at the opportunities with Paycom.

  16. I spent Thanksgiving with a friend and her family. I hadn’t met any of the family members, therefore, the whole weekend was full of networking and meeting new people. My friend’s dad, Mike, gave me a lot of business advice. First off, we discussed his decision whether or not to move to Hawaii with his wife with a previous job. Looking back, he said he was crazy to even consider not going. He encouraged me to transfer to a new office with KPMG – which I had already been considering. I also learnt about a Portland-based company called Ruby Receptionists which he had the privilege of visiting. He informed me of their innovative customer service techniques and encouraged me to set up a tour with the company for myself.

  17. Over this Thanksgiving break, I was fortunate enough to meet the secretary to Mayor Jonathan Rothschild (Tucson’s Mayor). I was offered an interview for a possible internship at the mayor’s office, however I am still waiting to hear back. Another great opportunity I had over this Thanksgiving break, was talking to my Uncle. I have an interest in law, however I am not sure that I want to practice law as a profession. Many lawyers do not wish to end up in that profession, however I have no experience and so my judgment is “clouded” and lacks proper information regarding law. My uncle owns his own real estate business, and so he communicates with lawyers on a daily basis. Given that my uncle works with lawyers, I was able to email, meet, and even befriend some mutual friends of his that are lawyers (On Linkedin). After talking with various lawyers, I have a better understanding of the variety of lawyers, and even an example of the day to day tasks lawyers undergo. I still keep in contact with the lawyers, and so they will be a big help in regards to where I plan on going in the future, and for advice in the future.

  18. I had a travel to Chicago with several of my friends. Actually we are hurry to intend it before we leave from Arizona. The first day we booked the airplane ticket, and we go the third day. But whatsoever, we have a stimulate and an exciting short trip. We went to almost every famous scenic spot including one of the high towers in the world–wills tower. It has been fun. We chatted with the local driver to catch the Chicago culture. The driver is so passionate to introduce it and tell us where the town he was born in Chicago. For me, I got a real relax for the thanksgiving’s holiday and take a positive energy for my following study. There is cold, but warm my heart. Thanks for thanksgiving in the USA.

  19. I had the pleasure of spending the extended holiday in San Diego, CA with my boyfriend and his family. His father, Rich Shea, is a Senior VP at US Bank and carries a sense of passion and determination both regarding his position at the company as well as in his family life. His sister, Stacey Shea, graduated from San Diego State University and is currently being honored with a nomination for the Top 25 Business Professionals Under 25 in the San Diego area. Both Mr. Shea and Stacey’s commitment to success were a motivation to someone like me who is only commencing my journey through undergraduate studies.

  20. During this break, I was given the chance to attend a Blues hockey game back in St. Louis with my uncle and one of his clients Jason, who works for Boeing in St. Louis. We all talked about my future plans as well as available internships this upcoming summer. Jason also went the extra mile and put a good word in for me at Boeing that will hopefully land me this internship. This was one of my better networking experience I had over Thanksgiving break.

  21. At Thanksgiving, I was able to get to know U of A finance alum, Josh D., who is currently working in Utah for a small financial investment company. It was interesting learning about his experience at the firm as well as in an entry level analyst role. Additionally, I was able to get in contact with a family friend who is currently working at a nonprofit and may have a potential marketing opening in the near future.

  22. Over thanksgiving dinner, I was telling my aunt and uncle and cousin what my future plans and aspirations are. My cousin is an accountant and has connections with many important clients. She told me when I have a better idea of what industry I want to work in to let her know and she will try to put me in contact with one of her clients in that industry. It was exciting talking about our professional experiences and hearing about the opportunities that could be available to me.

  23. Over the break I was sitting next to my Aunt Sue who works at Shutterfly in Scottsdale. She works in sales and account management and she told me that its unfortunate that they dont recruit interns at the U of A but if I was interested she could give my resume to her boss. I emailed her my resume and now Im planning on going up to Scottsdale over winter break for an interview!

  24. Over Thanksgiving break I talked to my friends mom who is the head of hiring at her software company. She gave great advice and tips about how to stand out when applying to jobs right out of college. I also networked with my uncle who works at a big technology company. We talked about what career path I’m interested in and he said that he would keep an eye out for internship opportunities and then contact me.

  25. While on break, this Thanksgiving I got see so many of my old friends and happened to make new ones during our joyful family gatherings. At dinner I talked with my brother about my plans to apply for the professional college at Eller and mentioned how I’m interested in applying as a finance major. I also brought up the fact that I would be looking for an internship next semester in hopes of finding one for the Summer of 2015. My brother mentioned how the company that he is working for “TruFresh,” (a produce exporting company) would be willing to offer me the opportunity to intern for them. The next day I went with him to lunch and he introduced me to the CEO of the company and we got to talk about my goals throughout the whole meal. Im hoping to hear from them in the next couple of months in hopes of solidifying my position as a college intern at TruFresh.

  26. Over break I was fortunate enough to fly back to Hong Kong. I grew up in Hong Kong and lived as an international student for over 5 years. On my return, I met up with an old Australian friend (Zach Stan-Robbie) who is now an entrepreneur and business owner in Hong Kong/China. He is the CEO of a textile company and advised me to start my own business. I am currently a Business Management student with the intention of double majoring in Entrepreneurship. He helped me expand my network and influence my decision to continue putting in the effort to ultimately attain a double major in entre.

  27. Over this Thanksgiving break I was able to network with three people in business careers that I might be interested in. The first was Kitty Boso, a talent acquisition manager for Federated Insurance. My dad works with someone who knows her, and I was able to get her number and give her a call. I now have an interview setup over winter break! The second person I connected with was Lidda Durazo, a small business owner here in the Tucson area. I have worked with her in the past so I called her to ask about the affiliation she has with the Arizona Diamondback’s. She gave me some great information and advice! The last person I talked to was Coy Vernon, another small business operator in Tucson who I met while applying for jobs over the summer. We scheduled a time to grab coffee and chat about my future and opportunities with his business and other businesses he works with.

  28. This thanksgiving I was able to network with a few different people in the technology field as I am currently apart of a company called Kneon. I was also able to speak to a director at Monster Energy regarding foreign marketing which was a great and very interesting experience learning about how marketing is used in europe.

  29. Thanksgiving break; a time to see the people you love, talk to the people you haven’t seen in a while, give thanks for what you have, and eat.. a lot. Over my thanksgiving break I went back to Mexico to visit my parents. We had a great thanksgiving dinner with all of the family, we ate a lot of good food, and we did this special thing when at dinner we all give thanks to each other for something in particular. The next day after thanksgiving I saw a friend that I hadn’t seen in a while, we started talking about our career goals. I told her I was looking for an internship at a law firm. She gave me a contact here in Tucson who is a lawyer and has his own law firm. So I emailed this person, we talked back and forth through emails, and to make the story short, I have a meeting with him next week to talk about me working in his law firm! This all happen thanks to networking. I believe networking is crucial to land great opportunities. My career coach told me: it’s important to have knowledge, to be better than others, but without networking, those that don’t know more than you can land better opportunities just by networking. So I believe talking to people, making new connections, is very important in our entrepreneurial/business career goals.

  30. Over thanksgiving break I called an employee of JP Morgan Commercial Banking in San Francisco. My dad put me in contact with this man after meeting his sister while staying in a hotel in Phoenix for 3 months during training for a new job earlier this year. Our conversation was concerned with what he does in his job and how he got there. I am not interested in working there but it was good information and good to make a contact. I also sent an email to a UA alumni I found who works at a small private equity firm in New York City. The goal of this email is to have a phone conversation where I will ask about his job, how I can get there too, and to get other contracts that can help me get there. We will be talking on the phone soon.

  31. Over the holiday, I networked with my aunt’s boyfriend who works in supply chain management for Boeing. He always encourages me to double my MIS major with Operations Management because Boeing has a lot to offer for students with these majors. We also discussed internship opportunities within Boeing but also in other fields. He gave me tips and advice for applying and interviewing for any job.

  32. Over Thanksgiving break, I had a meeting with a CEO of an event planning business and the president of Tucson Fashion Group. We discussed not only the possibilities of an internship but also ways in which we could work together to make her business/group grow. We discussed the image of the business and the market. She informed me of prospective tasks she would have me do if I were to become an intern for her. Overall,this initial encounter showed me the small tasks that goes into what some may preceive as a “glamorous” industry. Her words of commendation were valuable to me as I am a undergraduate Freshman. The meeting validated that drive and passion is an important component in making connections and gaining opportunities.

  33. Over Thanksgiving Break, my family decided to come with me to the ASU v. U of A game. My dad went to U of A and my uncle went to ASU and my uncle was the one that ended up purchasing the tickets for the game. Since he bought them, my family and I ended up sitting in a section where the majority of the fans were on the opposing team. During halftime, I struck up a conversation with one of the fans and he works within consulting. He applauded me for being a business major and he told me how great of a college Eller is. He asked me if I had anything set up for this summer and I told him that I’ve been applying to a lot of companies, but because I’m a sophomore, not many companies were responding to me. He then offered me an informational interview in Phoenix for his consulting firm which could then lead to an internship offer for the Summer! I never knew that a fan from ASU could actually make a big difference in my life!

  34. I am constantly networking. It is actually one of my favorite things to do. Usually when I network it is with people who share similar interests with me or people who already hold positions in careers that I seek to potentially land someday. However, this Thanksgiving break was slightly different. I networked with my family members which I don’t really do enough. After talking to my dad about trying to land my third internship this summer, I learned that he has a ton of connections in marketing. He is trying to now land me my dream internship in Phoenix for the summer! After talking about school with my aunt, I learned that my cousins wife works for an ad agency in Peoria, as well. I realized that networking isn’t just about talking to people that work in the same industry as you, but really is talking to as many people as you can throughout your life. You never know when you are going to be talking to someone who has connections to land you your dream job or next client!

  35. Over the thanksgiving break I stayed in Tucson. However, my parents had a discussion with a family friend who was interested in talking to me. She works for Citigroup in NYC where she is a manager on the emerging markets desk. On Friday I sent her my resume and by Sunday we were on a call discussing possible opportunities within the company. As a Finance & MIS double-major, I am currently pursuing a job geared more towards my MIS studies. However, networking will allow me to have additional options on the Finance side should I decide to change paths.

  36. On my flight home from Los Angeles, I noticed that the elderly man sitting next to me was wearing a Navy hat. I thanked him for his service and this sparked a conversation with him and his wife until the plane was forced to make an unscheduled landing in order to repair the radio. When reboarding the plane I noticed that he had saved me a seat. The entire second flight we talked about his past experiences, traits necessary to be a successful leader, social changes due to advancements in technology and communication, people that had made impacts in our lives, and more. Meeting these two fascinating people made the inconvenience of the flight being grounded into a positive experience.

  37. As a resident of Tucson I am not used to “big city” excitement. Sitting at a new restaurant on 4th Ave., I meet this elderly African- American woman. As I was doing my homework, Mrs. Daniels engaged herself in conversation regarding the protesting in Ferguson. She and I sat there exploring all of the side of the protesting. One thing that she said that would always stay with me was when she explained how “If it’s a racial war in Ferguson, how are the action of blacks rioting and robing mom and pop store fronts moving us closer to change? When 46 percent of those shops are black owned and operated. If it’s a racial war, we have to keep it consistent! Otherwise don’t use black civil justice to justify or quality you robbing and rioting for a new T.V in Ferguson”. To this day I still think about what she said. Unknowingly, the owner of the business stepped out from the office of the restaurant and spoke to the elderly woman, who was his mother. Unknowingly she was a civil rights leader and true protester in the Civil Rights movement. The three of us sat there for the longest time talking about how my schooling was and if I needed an internship this winter break I could speak to them to get started. To this day Mrs. Daniels, her son, and I still email, her son has actually offered me a job at any point if I was looking for one. I actually learned here that networking goes far beyond making connections to benefit you financially or in a future moves or your career, sometimes networking can lead to change in the way you view the world.

  38. This Thanksgiving break I had the chance to network with a photographer and musician that I met through friends of my family. I was able to tour their professional studios and view samples of their work. It was a very interesting opportunity to learn more about the creative aspects of Tucson.

  39. Over my break I was able to reach out to many different people to discuss my thoughts on my future career, however one of them got through to me more than the others. I am currently working for Lyft transportation as a Brand Ambassador internship, and over the break the Founder of Lyft and I spoke a few times about my future with this company, and was astonished on his response, he was able to give great advise which will stick in my head for the rest of my existence. He has gone through my resume and has said to me several times that I have a bright future because of my numerous years of work experience and the fact that I have already studied abroad have already started an internship and externship so soon. Ever sense he said that I have been applying to different companies for internships and Externships and I just received a confirmation that I will be over the winter break be doing an externship for a fortune 500 company in Boston. Also I applied for several internships in order to strengthen my competition in the future. I would do anything to strengthen the way employers look at me because I want a successful life after college and in order to begin my life long dream I would need to get into Eller. The thought of getting into Eller hasn’t escaped my mind ever sense I first came to Arizona to visit my brother in 2009. My Job before I push onto that application to Eller is to maintain great grades and to spread out and get the most experience possible through Internships and Externships.

  40. Thanksgiving is a great time to network while everyone gathers together to celebrate the holiday. I had the pleasure to attend a friendly dinner with my father and his fellow colleagues over Thanksgiving break. During that dinner, I met Dr. David Hathaway, a famous scientist who works at NASA AMES Research Center. I learned that David is one of the highest authorities in the world for the study of the solar cycle of activity. He explained to me several interesting facts about the solar cycle and its effects on our life. This network connection holds value to me for expanding my knowledge in different fields and getting in touch with people who are actively involved in studying the importance of the Sun-Earth connection.

  41. Thanksgiving is a great time to network while everyone gathers together to celebrate the holiday. I had the pleasure to attend a friendly dinner with my father and his fellow colleagues over Thanksgiving break. During that dinner, I met Dr. David Hathaway, a famous scientist who works at NASA AMES Research Center. I learned that David is one of the highest authorities in the world for the study of the solar cycle of activity. He explained to me several interesting facts about the solar cycle and its effects on our life. This network connection holds value to me for expanding my knowledge in different fields and getting in touch with people who are actively involved in studying the importance of the Sun-Earth connection… (Posted at 12/4/2014 @ 10:46PM)

  42. Over Thanksgiving break I took the time to connect with several local business owners who I truly admire. One is my father. My parents are divorced so he is usually located in Scottsdale but for the holidays he makes the time to come visit. He owns and operates his own successful landscaping business. I really admire him because he started his business with nothing and grew it to the prosperous entity it is today, with a loyal base of over 50 customers. He still does all the jobs himself because he truly cares about the quality of his work and wants to please each and every customer. I think that in business these are very important qualities to remember. My dad has inspired me to start my own business so that I can create something magical.

  43. This break I was able to network with a family friend who works as a CPA for Deloitte in San Fransisco, CA. I was able to get his contact information and learn much more about corporate accounting and over the Winter Break at the end of the semester when I go home I am getting the opportunity to go to Deloitte and meet with the friend as well as get a tour of the firm and some more insight information in regards to corporate accounting.

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