Thanksgiving Networking Challenge – Take the challenge and enter to win an Eller Swag Bag!

Eller PDC PDC Events 24 Comments

Thank you to those students who met the challenge! This contest is now over. The winners of this contest are Emma, Ipsit and Steven! Congrats!

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. Three random comments will be selected to win an Eller Swag Bag. Contest ends midnight on Friday, Dec. 4.

Thanksgiving Network Challenge

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 Eller Swag Bag! Tell us what you did to expand your network over Thanksgiving break. Contest ends midnight on Friday, Dec. 4.

Comments 24

  1. In order to better expand my network this Thanksgiving I reached out and was given the opportunity to interview with Yelp! Not only did I reach out to Yelp! but I started to contact a family friend who works for Oakley. I reached out to Oakley to ask if there was a possibility of an externship this winter or if there was anyone I could speak to in the marketing department!

  2. This Thanksgiving, the way I better improve my network,was by calling all of my relatives from out of state and in state. We invited them down and even paid for their transportation to get here. For Thanksgiving Dinner we are going to put our phones in bucket and talk about the good times . Then we shall compliment everyone who cooked . But most importantly, thank the good Lord for blessing us to be able to gather our entire family as one. We will celebrate and give plenty thanks .Thats how I will expand my network skills!

  3. In order to better expand my network into the Supply Chain and Logistics field, I reached out to an Amazon recruiter I met at the Career Fair over Thanksgiving break. I wanted to set up an informational interview to learn more about the field so I LinkedIn with the recruiter I briefly met a few months ago. Upon emailing his Amazon account I got an error and the message was sent back. However, I was determined to learn more about this field so I messaged him on LinkedIn. Not only did he agree to an informational interview, he told me he switched jobs to become Director of Operations at an airline supply company. My simple desire to learn more about Supply Chain and Logistics connected me to a Director of Operations!

  4. Over the few days of my Thanksgiving break, I talked to my friends and family about my career goals. To broaden my network, I spoke with my friends family and was able to significantly grow my LinkedIn network. It turns out a family member works for Delloite Consulting, and was able to speak with them about a potential externship/ internship opportunities.

  5. This thanksgiving break, what I did to expand my network was ask my father who works at Raytheon as an engineer to introduce me to one of his co-workers, which works at Raytheon as well. He works under the supply chain management division. I set up an informational interview with him because I wanted to further understand what his job roles are. Me pursuing a degree is Business administration found his information valuable because he helped me shape my career path a little bit better, and also offered possible internships available for me through Raytheon.

  6. For this 2015 thanksgiving, in order to improve my network skill and to develop the potential sources I could use in the future, I sent thanksgiving messages to all of my friends, relatives and elders who had ever helped me through social medias like Facebook etc. That’s how I improved my network skill during the thanksgiving holiday.

  7. I was able to maximize my time spent at home over Thanksgiving break by challenging myself to network as much as possible. I was able to organize, expand, and update my LinkedIn profile. Additionally, I was able to spend Thanksgiving day with some extended family who are currently employed in the career field that I ideally see myself working in in my future. I discussed career opportunities with these family members, a few of which who went as far as to introduce me to others in the field, further expanding my network. Furthermore, I was able to research various different externships which I could potentially complete over Winter break.

  8. Ultimately I want to work for a local nonprofit agency and have started volunteering & networking with some of my favorite charities. For Thanksgiving, I networked by reaching out to the Ronald McDonald House and setting up a Christmas toy drive through my employer. Building relationships with the staff there has helped me make connections and made me feel like my future is headed in the right direction because it is an extremely rewarding industry to be a part of. I can’t wait to deliver the toys we collect before Christmas and demonstrate our appreciation for how they touch lives every day!

  9. This Thanksgiving break, I reached out to the CEO of El Rio since I am interested in learning more about how non-profits function, especially in the relation to the healthcare field. I had been given the contact information of the CEO by a faculty member at Eller, and by simply sending an introductory email and expressing my enthusiasm, I was invited to meet with the CEO for breakfast after the Holiday season so we could discuss my interests more. She also invited me to attend a future board meeting for El Rio for additional experience.

    I also wanted to strengthen my existing network, so I emailed a professor whose class I had taken some semesters ago. We have kept in touch, but it has been a while since we last spoke. With a simple email, now we have a coffee meeting to catch up. It’s incredible how enthusiasm on our part as students can translate so fluidly into strong mentor-mentee relationships with Eller faculty.

    As a board member for the UA student-run nonprofit Loans Across Borders, I also finalized our member recruitment posts–to be emailed through various UA list serves as we seek more committed members to join our cause. Our initiative was recently accepted into the Clinton Global Initiative University as an officially recognized commitment to action, and so I also took time over the weekend to complete supplementary funding applications for our initiative (

  10. Over this Thanksgiving break, my family traveled to Phoenix to meet up with my aunts and uncles for this holiday. As usual, the relatives I haven’t seen in a while ask me how I’m doing and what is new. I was speaking with one of my aunts about my career goals and how I ultimately want to work for a company that cares for its employees as well as their clients/customers. She told me she works for Discover Card in Scottsdale which lines up with that perfectly. After talking some more, she told me that when I graduate, she would hire me in an instant. Considering this. I believe my networking this break was a success.

  11. Before Thanksgiving break began, I was lucky enough to be invited to the Accounting 200 Event where we met employees from some of the largest and most exciting accounting and financial firms in the entire industry. There I made a great connection with Cassie Worischeck from Moss-Adams and talked about the unbelievable internship opportunities her company can provide. I asked for Cassie’s card so I could follow up on our conversation and sent her an email asking for information. A few days later, I went home for Thanksgiving break and told my parents about the amazing Accounting 200 event, and about the connection I made with an employee from Moss-Adams. Coincidentally, my Dad is a former business partner and close friend of the Partner in Charge of the Scottsdale office of Moss-Adams, Mark Weber. I had my dad contact Mark about a potential internship this summer and I sent Mr. Weber an email to tell him about my interest in Moss-Adams and to see if there was a internship job available for me. I learned this Thanksgiving Break that it is indeed a very small world, and now have a potential internship spot available this summer with Moss-Adams in Scottsdale, AZ!

  12. I used Thanksgiving break to expand my network. I updated my LinkedIn Profile, and I also applied for a couple Externships. I sent a couple “Happy Holidays” E-mails to several University of Arizona staff members in the Arizona Athletic department that I feel could offer me great advice to help me reach my career goal if I got to know them on a personal level. I also volunteered with Arizona Athletics. On a personal note, I set up a formal interview with a family friend who is the owner of several Wetzel Pretzel franchises in Southern California. We discussed different entrepreneurship tactics that will help me in the future. He also shared how he develops business plans, and other informative information in the fields of business management. My work does not stop here! I keep myself extremely active and plan to use Christmas break as another opportunity to excel in my career goals!

  13. Through all the festivities over Thanksgiving break, I managed to get down to some business and have an informational interview. I have been emailing an employee at Defero, a digital marketing company in central Phoenix, ever since I went through their interview process last summer. We met to have coffee and had about an hour conversation pertaining to her career path, the company, and specific components of her role at Defero. I gained some great advice and strategies to take back with me to gain more experience and knowledge to fit the criteria the internship position and to further my knowledge base and resources to research. It was highly beneficial to help my professional development and to have a more detailed plan of attack for when I apply for the internship again this summer. I feel very confident and excited to see where I can go with the information I received.

  14. This Thanksgiving break, I was meeting a lot of my boyfriend’s extended family for the first time out of state. I had known that two of his uncles worked in industries very similar to one I had worked in during a summer internship position, and talked to them about their work and positions at their companies. One of his uncles ended up giving us a behind the scenes tour of his entire plant and companies operations, because I was so interested in it! It was so interesting to hear about his role and day-to-day workplace, and a great networking and learning experience.

  15. Given the opportunity to become involved in my local community, I volunteered to serve food at a Thanksgiving Potluck at a local senior community. After food was served, opportunities arose to meet and share perspectives with local business professionals and retired veterans concerning organizational changes and hiring practices for today’s managers. The folks I spoke to hold Eller graduates in high regard and look forward to hearing from me again sometime in the near future.

  16. Over Thanksgiving I talked with my aunt and uncle about internships. They gave me the contact information of a couple people they know in the marketing industry. Through this, I have been able to get in contact with a couple of people and discuss opportunities within their company. I learned that just mentioning that I am interested in something can help widen my network because everyone knows someone who can be a good contact.

  17. Through the Thanksgiving break, I was able to extend my interest in continuing my summer internship from this past year with Nova Financial and contacted my old bosses to tell them of my interest in returning for this upcoming summer. Along with that, I also met a family friend who is the Vice President of Wealth Management with Merrill Lynch here in Tucson. A summer internship is offered by Merrill Lynch and I contacted Mr. Scherer that I will apply for the internship and he will give a recommendation to aid me in the application process. Now that the break is over, I will still continue to search for an internship for this upcoming summer, and will make sure I keep in contact with Mr.Scherer and Nova Financial.

  18. Over the Thanksgiving Holiday I spoke with my relatives about my forthcoming internship search. Careers in finance / accounting run in the family: (2) Uncles, Grandpa, Mom, and now my cousin. Although I do not—and will not—want to seek a career in finance / accounting, it was interesting hearing their perspectives about what they do day in, day out. My networking extended, naturally, beyond the home. When at Best Buy Black Friday shopping, I chatted with a Firefighter about Apple products he was considering to purchase, and needs of his job and how his Apple products fit in to the demands of his occupation.

  19. It comes as a lonely thanksgiving for an international student like me during the holidays as all my relatives, families, and friends are all back in South Korea. This, however, did not stop me from reaching out to my career mentors who are sponsoring me to attend the University of Arizona.
    I am pursuing to build the most prestigious business school in Cambodia after I achieve my degree here, and one of the mentors who is sponsoring me is the Chairman of a University in Australia. I sent him an email asking about the books I should read in order to help me achieve my dream. He replied listing books that I should read and I ordered them directly on Amazon. I am loving these books and I feel like I am one step more prepared in achieving my dream.

  20. Over the Thanksgiving break, I networked with the Director of Marketing for a company called Ballard that is based in Vancouver, BC. I went to Canada this break to visit family and while there, I asked my stepfather to set up a meeting with someone in Ballard’s sales or marketing department. He gave me the name of Nicolas Pocard and I then emailed him setting up a time to talk about his career and the path he took to become successful in the marketing field. I was very interested in his path because it was not like most peoples. He actually has his degree in general science and his masters in physics. He ended in a marketing position after years in sales with a company that made fuel cells and he had the scientific background knowledge to understand them. This really opened my eyes to a marketing major and I now have a wonderful connection into the business world in Canada.

  21. This thanksgiving I sat down with the dad of an old family friend and talked about school and my on going internship search. After a couple of exchanges, we talked about what Raytheon looks for on resumes when applicants submit them. As he is a current employee, this information helped immensely and I referenced his name on my application to increase my chances of landing an interview with the company.

  22. This Thanksgiving break I had the chance to talk to my brother in law about his career with Wells Fargo. He is a University of Arizona Alumni working as a Communications Consultant with the company. Since he has been with the company for over ten years and even has had the chance to conduct interviews, he is helping me improve my resume and cover letter. In addition he is going to help me practice my interviewing skills by doing mock interviews.

  23. During my lovely Thanksgiving break, I was able to meet with a marketing professional who works for a nonprofit organization. I talked to my parents about my aspirations a few weeks before I came home, and it just so happens a close family friend works for a company that alines with what I am looking for. We set up a casual dinner where I was able to meet with him and discuss the hiring process, what the day to day looks like, and various other job oriented topics. After our dinner, he gave me a few contacts that he felt would be beneficial to further my career.

  24. Over Thanksgiving break I talked with my cousins about potential internships. They gave me the contact information of some people the finance industry that they have networked with over the years. Over the past few days, I have been able to get in contact with a few of people and discuss potential internship opportunities within their company. I realized how valuable networking is through this, and also realized that I have valuable resources in my family.

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