Guest Blogger: Donna Coulson, M.S., Professional Certified Coach, Cameron Executive Network Mentor
I first met Mark Pentangelo at the CSB Mixer in early 2015. A “Jersey boy,” he sought a summer internship at a NJ utility. His professor told him I’d been in management at NJ Natural Gas. I had also done contract work with PSEG.
At the mixer, Mark and I talked about his career interests and area of concentration—Operations. I wanted to be sure there was a fit with either NJNG’s or PSEG’s work culture and a position that would tap his skills. I used my network—former coworkers in HR and a former MBA student who’s Director of Operations—to ask if I could recommend a bright UNCW student for a summer internship. The Customer Service Manager—who I trained years ago—was impressed with his analytical and interpersonal skills. She hired him based on his phone interview and was not disappointed.
Mark is also interested in alternative energy (gas-fueled buses, windmills) so I charged him with making connections with those people and expanding his network during his summer position. One of my former direct reports made the introductions and Mark took it from there. Through his work, he found that the dipping oil prices impacted the market. Since he met and spoke to a variety of people during his internship, Mark landed a financial services position where he’ll use his analytical and interpersonal skills at NJ Resources, the holding company.
Mark’s story demonstrates three important elements of effectively utilizing the Cameron Executive Network:
- Match your skills to an organization who will utilize them;
- Network and make connections for your first job and your next position. Learn to do that with ease, even when you feel uncomfortable. Be curious about the work of peers and managers – it’s not just about landing a job. Screen a company for fit and a match as much as the company is doing that with you; and
- Stay connected with people in your network.