Alumnus shares his advice on networking and looking for jobs
With the Employment Opportunities Conference (EOC) taking place this week, getting a full-time job or internship is one of the first things on many students’ minds.
Although they might be nervous about finding a job that they really enjoy, they do have many successful alumni to look to for advice on their job search. These alumni can be a great resource and their stories can provide both encouragement and support to the students.
Bryan Iams, now head of external communications for Bayer Corporation, which has its U.S. headquarters here in Pittsburgh, is one such story of success after graduation from Carnegie Mellon.
While Iams was working at Bayer, he was also taking night classes at the Heinz School, studying public policy and management, which resulted in his attaining his master’s degree in public management in 2004. Though he is currently an employee of Bayer, Iams’ first job was with the global public relations agency Burson-Marsteller, also in Pittsburgh. While there, he worked as part of the firm’s public relations practice.
Iams explained that he “provided media relations support and counsel to a wide range of consumer and business-to-business clients” while working at Burson-Marsteller.
After leaving the firm, Iams went to Bayer to gain experience in a different side of the public relations field. At Bayer, Iams is responsible for serving as the company spokesperson and managing corporate media relations, public affairs, advertising, and online media.
“I left Burson and joined Bayer to gain experience on the corporate side of the communications and public affairs business,” Iams said.
Iams also attributes his time spent in the Heinz program to aiding him in his career’s success. “I was impressed with the caliber of professors at the Heinz School. They brought a real-world insight to the classroom, which provided the students with a hands-on look at many of the challenges and opportunities that we would face upon graduation,” he said.
Moreover, Iams believes that it was the other students of the master’s program that helped him to benefit further.
“The Heinz School’s diversity — people and thinking — made the experience extremely valuable.” Iams also valued the experience of being able to meet a wide variety of people from different backgrounds. “In many cases, my classmates were from all parts of the world, and this provided a true global perspective to the graduate program,” Iams stated.
Iams believes that other students looking for an internship or job can be just as successful as he was. He advises students to focus their job search on areas that they are specifically interested in, and that students try to keep long-term career goals in mind in addition to short-term ones.
“My advice is simple. Don’t settle for just any internship or job as possible. Look and then apply for internships or jobs that will provide growth in your particular field of interest.” Iams also stressed the importance of thinking toward the future and focusing on long-term goals rather than short-term goals. “Be patient with your career and take a longer-term approach to your goals. If you focus on doing great work in your field, everything else will take care of itself over time,” Iams said.