It Starts by Saying, 'Hello'
Linzy Dineen '21 explains the importance of authentic networking, relationship building
Editor’s Note: When Linzy Dineen ’21 embarked for this spring’s Discover Atlanta program, she did not anticipate returning there anytime soon. Everything changed during her three-day trip, when she bumped into Lorre Gaudiosi ’86, an attorney for the Georgia Court of Appeals. “She offered me an internship,” recalls Dineen, a triple major in forensic science, biology and psychology. “Lorre is an alumna who wants to give back." Read more about Linzy's experiences, made possible by Lorre's support.
This summer, I interned as a research analyst for the Georgia Court of Appeals in Atlanta. It was an incredible opportunity. My main function was to draft opinions on behalf of the court, based on the facts of the cases at hand and the precedents set forth by existing laws. I also observed proceedings in the lower-level courts, including jury selection, and criminal plea and arraignment.
The entire experience was transformative. It not only affirmed my desire to pursue a career in law, but also gave me important hands-on experience. I walked away from the internship feeling more prepared for and confident about my future than ever before.
None of this would have happened on my own. One of Syracuse's greatest resources is its extensive alumni network, which many of us students sometimes overlook. I secured my internship through an alumna I met during Discover Atlanta, co-sponsored by the College of Arts and Sciences and the University’s Atlanta Regional Council.
That’s right—I got my internship through an old-fashioned, face-to-face meeting, not an impersonal online application or phone interview. Lorre Gaudiosi [along with her husband, George ’84] is a member of the Atlanta Regional Council. She saw something in me, and wanted to help.
It goes to show that being kind and professional—a willingness to develop meaningful connections with people—can take you far. Usually, these traits make more of an impact on a prospective employer than your GPA or resume.
Here are my tips for effective networking:
- Put your best foot forward. Have a strong handshake. Make eye contact. Smile. … Body language makes a first impression that sticks.
- Have a killer elevator pitch. In less than a minute, you should be able to explain who you are, what you do and what kind of position you are seeking. Your pitch shouldn’t be cookie-cutter, recited from memory. Instead, it should be a checklist—well-organized and natural sounding—that articulates your strengths and passions.
- Be yourself. I know it sounds cliché, but it works. The only way to genuinely connect with someone is by being who you are. Honesty is not just about telling the truth; it’s about being your authentic self. Anything less can cost you your credibility.
I can attest to the effectiveness of these guidelines. They truly make a difference in the world of networking and can lead to a world of opportunity. After all, every person you meet has the potential to change your life. It starts by saying, "Hello."