A post from student blogger Brittany
According to the ever so popular Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, I classify as an introvert although my friends would probably tell you otherwise. The idea of introducing myself, public speaking, and large crowds has always made me feel uneasy and although a career as a patent agent aligns exceptionally well with my sentiments, GETTING THE JOB DOES NOT! I knew upon enrolling into the program I would have to network, ask questions, and partake in other aspects of “putting myself out there”.
At every Lunch and Learn last semester I introduced myself to the speaker and told him or her a little about myself and to be honest it wasn’t too bad. After a few times it became second nature, it was important for me to tell the speaker about me in a sense. Now that I’m “actively seeking employment” I’ve been able to reach out to some of those same speakers for advice ranging from ways to strengthen my resume to potential interview questions.
I can’t say enough to go beyond your comfort zone, I know you’ve probably grown accustomed to your labmates or undergrad buddies but you have to take the next step for your career development. The relationships I’ve established extend beyond the scope of “can you help me find a job”, but these connections are with people I know I could contact even after I get my dream job (speak it into existence) to encourage me and act as mentors. One thing I’ve learned is becoming a great patent agent doesn’t happen overnight and having skilled people in one’s corner drastically increases the chances of him or her having a long and successful career.
Learning from the mistakes and triumphs of other patent agents/attorneys is invaluable. In addition to all the extremely beneficial courses in the MSPL curriculum, extend yourself to guest speakers and connect with people on LinkedIn. You know you’re really growing up when LinkedIn is the preferred app over Twitter and Instagram but it provides you with an opportunity to broaden your network and not to mention connecting with ND/MSPL alumni makes a world of difference.