by Anne Deeter Gallaher

January 27, 2023

This week I presented real-world business communications advice to two classes at Elizabethtown College. While standing in the theatre-style classroom, I had one goal in mind—to offer insights I wish someone would have told me in college. At the top of the list? Don’t underestimate the power of building a network.

If you are among the 33% of college students entering the workforce this year, I invite you to check out these five tips to lay the groundwork for success in your future workplace.

  1. Find five business professionals you would like to connect with and develop a plan to reach out to them. Do some research, write a persuasive email, give a short time window for the meeting, and be clear about the information you're seeking. Choose a standout Subject Line for the email and make sure you have a good, clean email signature.
  2. Don't leave campus without introducing yourself to your college president. He or she has a powerful network and can open doors and eliminate barriers for career or internship opportunities. An important part of the college experience is the network of friends and leaders you'll meet. Stay connected with them after graduation and follow them on social media.
  3. Create Google Alerts for yourself. Make sure you know what your digital tattoo looks like. 
  4. Build out your personal brand with strong social media content. The first thing potential employers or executives will do is a Google Search. Page 1 is your opportunity to make a great first impression.
  5. Submit stories or blog content to your college’s student publications or Admissions Department. Write a letter to the editor or opinion editorial about an issue you believe in. Writing indicates your passion, community impact, and ability to persuade or educate. 

Mastering these skills before you graduate from college is a major business advantage as you enter the workplace. “Get Uncomfortable and Grow" is a chapter title in my book Women in High Gear, and it's a principle I still practice. 


*Suzanne Biever-Grodzinski, English Professor at Elizabethtown College, invited Anne Deeter Gallaher to speak to her class about business communications. Anne Deeter Gallaher is a frequent guest speaker at universities and colleges in Pennsylvania. If interested, connect with Anne directly at*