Courtesy TCU 360

(February 15, 2014) While networking was one of the purposes of the Leaders in Media Conference, the term “networking” is not a word Jon Chelesnik (left), CEO of Sportscasters Talent Agency of America, likes to use.

Instead, Chelesnik said he prefers the term “relationship building.”

“Networking implies in the minds of a lot of employers that this person wants something from me,” Chelesnik said. “Relationship building is different in that you approach the employer, whoever it is you’re trying to meet, from the standpoint of ‘What can I do to help you? What can I offer them to make their life easier?’”

Chelesnik joined other sports broadcasting leaders such as WBAP sports anchor Steve Lamb and ESPN Dallas reporter Richard Durrett at the Leaders in Media Conference on Friday. In between panel sessions, students were able to interact with the panelists and exchange business cards.

“It’s a very relaxed environment. I don’t feel intimidated by any of the speakers to ask questions,” said Cornell Banta, a junior sports broadcasting major.

The Leaders in Media Conference is just one of the many networking opportunities TCU offers students.

Career Services offers two other networking events in February: the Criminal Justice Networking Night on Feb. 26 and the Graphic Design Connect on Feb. 28. In March, students can attend networking events in the fields of communications, marketing and medicine.

Career Services will also host a free Networking Webinar on March 5, which will teach students networking tips and strategies.

Kim Satz, associate director of employer relations for Career Services, said networking is essential in finding a job, and students should start connecting with employers as soon as possible.

“The more connections you can make, the more likely you are to find out about opportunities that may interest you and lead to a job,” she said.

NBC 5 anchor Deborah Ferguson, who attended the Leaders in Media Conference to support husband Lamb, said students should not be afraid to network.

“All it takes is having a little confidence in yourself,” Ferguson said. “Step up there.”