The power of networking

A selfie of Michael Beadle and myself, Tina Riccio, in front of Ubisoft SF Head Quarters.

For those of you who are still in your developing collegiate years or even those who have yet to start the job hunt, I cannot stress the importance of networking and making connections enough.

Here, at Chico State the J&PR students are fortunate to be taught by a roster of widely connected professors that diligently work to lead us to an abundance of post-collegiate career opportunities. It is because of this amazing support system of professors that Chico State’s J&PR program has such successful and interactive alumni.

As a young student, I remember rolling my eyes when a professor said to us, “Networking will be the key to your success.” I thought to myself, “Shouldn’t my skills be good enough to get me a job alone?”

Today, as a graduating senior, networking has been a major factor in my success. The greatest example of this is my PR Internship with Ubisoft, the largest grossing video game company in the world today.

One autumn day Michael Beadle, The PR Director of Ubisoft San Francisco and a Chico State J&PR alumni, gave a quick presentation on the types of PR campaigns Ubisoft often runs and I couldn’t have been more mesmerized. I spoke with him after class to ask him more questions and proceeded to connect with him on social media months after his presentation.

After a few tweets back and forth we ended up direct messaging to talk about PR fails and successes. Later, I felt bold enough to send Beadle my resume and that exact moment was when networking got my foot in the door.

Beadle is the Ubisoft Director of PR for the U.S., Canada and South America. It’s safe to say he’s a big deal and that it meant a lot that he forwarded my resume to HR. I couldn’t be more thankful to him for being so open to interacting with me and supporting me. After a rigorous interview process, I was honored to become a Ubisoft PR Intern during the summer months of 2016.

I learned things about PR I had never heard of before. For example, how to efficiently and effectively create coverage reports, media bios and how to teach other how to work with Cision and plan Ubisoft’s long-term analytics strategy.

I also had the chance to write a few press releases which received coverage from journalistic industry leaders IGN and Gamespot. Finally, I got the chance to help run the Pre-Gamescom event held at the Ubisoft SF HQ working the floor and interacting with game industry journalists.

Examples of coverage from industry leaders:

 

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The greatest takeaway from working in a corporate PR office was the extreme importance of always turning in polished work. In college, it is easy to get caught up in the craziness of balancing a million things and at times students turn in unperfected work for one class just to receive some credit instead of none. This is the greatest contrasting difference between the collegiate and business worlds.

When working in the business world you must always turn in completely polished work. If you are running late on a deadline, communicate that to your supervisor and always be sure to turn in your absolute greatest work. Because, to be frank, if you work is subpar so are you.

For my current internship with Tehama Group Communications, I am an Account Executive and I expect polished work from my team. Though TGC is a student-managed agency, our clients buy our work and time and thus they always deserve the highest quality of work possible.

So, if you are interested in joining TGC in the future, know that we hold our standards equally as high as Ubisoft and other corporate PR companies and agencies. Be prepared to run your work through edits and critiques multiple times. Our high quality of work and client relations is what makes TGC a prestigious organization that exponentially better prepares graduates for their post-collegiate careers.

Written  by Tina Riccio

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