The advice to network professionally is so common that perhaps some people are tempted to tune it out as more of the same old message.
That would be a mistake, says Scott Stiefel, a 2011 graduate of the Columbus School of Law. No matter how many times it’s emphasized, networking truly is the best way to locate and land the right post-law school job, Stiefel believes. It worked for him.
Asked by the Office of Career and Professional Development to return to the law school to discuss the value of networking, Stiefel came back on Sept. 18 bringing an encouraging message, a persuasive PowerPoint presentation, and best of all, an impressive new job title.
In July, he accepted the position of general counsel for DrFirst.com, Inc., a Rockville, Md.-based company that is the nation’s leading provider of online prescription services.
Fourteen months earlier, as a graduating law student, things didn’t look so rosy, Stiefel said.
“I didn’t realize the market was changing,” said the former chemical engineer.
Stiefel’s job didn’t fall into his lap. It came about by persistently working the robust CUA Law alumni network in the D.C. area, attending alumni functions, calling people he didn’t know, and starting up conversations with strangers.
“Don’t just come right out and ask for a job,” he advised. Sometimes it’s enough just for people to know who you are, whether they can hire or not.
“Work your network, make connections, and make sure you have a good reputation. You need to keep working to find those people who can help you in your career,” Stiefel said.
These days, his friends kiddingly call him “the accidental GC.” Stiefel is amused, especially by the accidental part. Just the opposite is true. He followed a plan that eventually paid off.
“All of my jobs are the result of networking. CUA Law has people everywhere,” Stiefel said.