Surprise! I’m not Laura! Who do you think I am? Here are a few hints:
1) I am younger.
2) My writing isn’t as wonderful as her writing.
3) Some people say we look similar.
If you guessed Katherine, her sister, then you are correct! For those of you who don’t know me, I will introduce myself. I’ve known Laura for nearly 20 years. We met in North Carolina when our mom brought me home from the hospital. She has been stuck with this bundle of joy ever since. Recently, Laura has been handling this very well. Maybe that is because we no longer share a bathroom. Most of my time is spent in classes because I am double majoring in biochemistry and music. In my spare time I enjoy hiking, napping, reading, playing French horn, and spending time with friends.
About a week ago, Laura and I were Skyping. She asked what her blog should be about. I jokingly told her to write about her wonderful little sister. Surprisingly, she obliged! However, that was after she had the idea of having me become a guest writer. I will be responding to one of Laura’s previous blogs.
I had the opportunity to visit my sister, Laura, in Portland during spring break a couple weeks ago. We ate delicious food, relaxed in her apartment, and most importantly, we exchanged books. I traded The Fault in Our Stars by John Green for Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi. I haven’t finished the book yet, but I have read through a large chunk. I blame my slow progress on the thought-provoking content.
After each chapter, I end up spending up to an hour contemplating what I read about. Never Eat Alone is about networking. I have been interested in networking for a long while. In high school, whenever I visited Laura at college, I would try my best to meet students and professors around her campus. I learned the power of networking when I applied to colleges and interviewed for scholarships. Building trust and mutual respect got me where I am now, and I believe it will help me get to where I want to be in the future, along with hard work and dedication, of course.
Keith Ferrazzi’s networking examples mainly come from business, but they apply to all areas of life. The idea of weaving a web of contacts in social situations gives people a fallback when they need help. Nobody can get through obstacles alone. Sometimes friends, business contacts, and even acquaintances are needed to give people a boost up the ladder. Ferrazzi points out that successful relationships take effort and time even when help isn’t needed. Help cannot be expected without giving something of value in return. I’m not saying material possessions must be given. Things like knowledge and time are commonly valued more. Networking is something that should be given a high priority constantly.
I have already been putting some of Ferrazzi’s principles to the test. Spring quarter started at the beginning of this month, so I have been introducing myself to as many people as possible. Not only am I finding study buddies for multiple classes, but also I am making friends that could potentially last through college. I am meeting students in many departments. This has given me the chance to connect students who can benefit each other. For example, one of my friends is writing an article about the effect of campus construction on students with disabilities. I was able to connect her with another friend who makes the maps of construction route changes around campus.
I introduced myself to an USAF Colonel who was able to connect me with a flight surgeon. Now I am setting up a job shadow to learn about the job I hope to have in the future. So far, I have had nothing but good experiences from my networking efforts. Never Eat Alone gave me the motivation I need to go out of my way to build stronger, more meaningful relationships. I recommend this book to anybody who wants to learn methods for connecting with unfamiliar people.