Gabrielle Duniphin is a graduating senior and marketing major at the PSU School of Business Administration. Gabrielle and I sat down to talk about her various internships and her experiences at the SBA. Read on to learn her advice on how to network your way into a great position.
Gabrielle started at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising, studying apparel industry management. She later moved to Florida, where she attended the University of South Florida. It was then that Gabrielle decided to begin studying marketing. Although she switched to a different field of study, Gabrielle was just as passionate about both. “Every time I moved to a new city, I made of list of companies that I wanted to work for at some point. Here’s five places that I wanted to work at. I’d always stay tuned in to the companies, like if there are internships available.” And one of the companies on her list that she made when she moved to Florida was the Home Shopping Network.
Gabrielle highlighted the importance of networking in helping her secure an internship at the Home Shopping Network. “My last position was at the Home Shopping Network, and I got that job through networking. You always think, ‘Networking. It’s hit or miss.’ But every single job I’ve gotten, I’ve gotten through networking. I formally applied prior, but I’ve always happened to meet someone who had the ‘in’ that I needed to get my name pulled out of the pile. You have to put yourself out there. People want to help you, but they won’t know you need help until you ask.”
After moving to Hood River and deciding to attend Portland State University, Gabrielle landed an internship at Insitu, Inc. Insitu is a Boeing subsidiary that specializes in drone creation. Gabrielle has been a research analyst intern at Insitu for over a year. Gabrielle’s main role is to analyze new markets for Insitu to enter and then present her findings to the executive team. Gabrielle finds her role to be very interesting, but not where she thought she’d end up. Oddly enough, her sister works for Boeing in Alabama!
Gabrielle also mentioned that networking had a lot to do with her current internship at Insitu. She says you have to put yourself out there and ask for what you want. Gabrielle’s other piece of advice to getting an internship is to tailor your resume to the position. “You need to match your resume to the posting. Pick out key words in the posting to include in your resume.” Tailoring your cover letter to the position is also extremely important.
What does Gabrielle find to be the most underutilized resource available at the School of Business Administration? Teachers. Gabrielle says to go to see your teachers during their office hours. Teachers have so much to give, but not all students ask for help and advice! Who knows? Maybe your teachers can give you a great lead on an internship or job!
Gabrielle also advises that you go check out the Advising and Career Services. The advisors there can be a great resource for resume writing. “They really help you to hone your focus and to be clear and concise.” Again Gabrielle stresses the importance of networking in your career. “Go strike up a conversation with that person you don’t know who looks interesting. Chances are they want to know you too or you have something to offer them. Don’t be intimated by people are higher up. Chances are they want to help you, like someone may have helped them earlier on in their career.”
What does fearless mean to Gabrielle? “Fearless to me is standing up for your beliefs and your self-worth. You have to go for it. If it’s your dream and you want it, go for it. No one can stop you from achieving your goals. You’re always going to face a hill, but as long as you keep going, you’ll get over it. Don’t be afraid to fight for what you believe in and what you want.”
The School of Business Administration offers a plethora of networking opportunities to help you land your dream job. The student organizations offered through the SBA are a great way to connect with other students and professionals in the field. Go to your teachers’ office hours, as Gabrielle suggests. Check out professional chapters of various organizations. Or even just strike up a conversation with the person sitting next to you in class! You never know where a connection could take you; it could even help you to land your dream job!
~Mckenzie Miller ’15, Fearless Business Student