Click Selection

Search News Releases:

News ReSheriff's Officeurces
on the Web

28 September 2007
Town & Gown:
Networking Happens Every Day

By Dr. William A. Meehan
President, Jacksonville State University
Weekly Column - Town and Gown

It is Saturday afternoon. There is a slight breeze in the air. You are sitting in Paul Snow Stadium surrounded by bursts of red and white balloons, uniforms, pompoms, T-shirts and more.

The sound of the Southerners sweeps across the crowd as they play “Stars Fell on Alabama.”

You are watching the Gamecocks run the football down the field and cheer along with the person next to you. You are networking.

Networking is all about forming relationships, and it happens every day whether you are consciously aware of it or not.

Creating positive relationships, while at the ball game or in line at the grocery store, can work in your favor by leading to a new job or benefiting a pre-existing one.

Recent statistics from the Federal Bureau of Labor depict that 70 percent of all jobs are found through networking, 15 percent through a search firm, 10-12 percent by searching want ads and only 2 percent from sending out resumes.

Sandok and Sandberg, two consultants at the Esquire Group, a legal search and consulting firm headquartered in Minneapolis, Minn., find networking to be the number one cause of securing a job.

“More people are hired by being in the right place at the right time than for any other single reason. But you can’t take advantage of that unless you stay in contact with your network.”

“Becoming involved with the JSU National Alumni Association offers tremendous opportunities for our alumni to network through chapter events, receptions and events on campus,” says director of Alumni Affairs Kaci Ogle.

“Our successful graduates often tell me that they like to hire JSU alumni because they know each graduate has a very strong work ethic due to the fact that many of our students work their way through college. At alumni association events, alumni can not only meet people in their area but they might also meet someone who could enhance their career.”

Recently, Congressman Mike Rogers spoke to students on our campus about his education at JSU and career development.

He was the first speaker this fall in a series sponsored by the Career Placement Services (CPS) called “Making Connections: My Career … My Success … My JSU.”

Director of CPS, Janet White, says by asking a diverse group of successful alumni back to speak at JSU will aid students in preparing job strategies and creating their networking contacts.

She says networking is a winning situation for all who are involved because people find fulfillment and enjoyment in contributing to another person’s life. “Helping students gratifies me and satisfies a basic need in my life.”

White strongly believes in the importance of preparation and networking in order to be successful on the job hunt. She urges students to get involved with the alumni association and attend as many career fairs as they can find.

CPS is also quick to give out a Strategic Plan of Action (SPA) packet to relax those who are concerned about finding a job or are unhappy in their current position.

The SPA is a list of 20-25 action steps, complete with networking ideas, to get motivated and get moving.

At the next football game, get motivated to move into a conversation with the person sitting next to you, a fellow Gamecock fan.

You never know where a cultivated relationship will lead. As the old Army tagline says, “It’s not just a job, it’s an adventure.”

To learn more about Career Placement Services, contact Ms. Janet White by email, or -5092.

Erin Chupp, a graduate assistant in the Office of Marketing and Communications, contributed to this article.

About William A. Meehan

Dr. William A. Meehan is president of Jacksonville State University. His column, "Town & Gown," appears in The Jacksonville News.

See story at The Jacksonville News's website: .

Note: JSU faculty, staff and students may access The Jacksonville News online through their affiliation with the University. Those not affiliated with JSU may have to subscribe to receive The Jacksonville News online. If you already subscribe to The Jacksonville News, you receive a complimentary online membership. This provides complete access to all the content and services of the site at no additional charge. Otherwise there is an online monthly charge for their online service. Contact The Jacksonville News for information.

Submit items for news releases by using the request form at