Networking tips from CJ Walker MBA’20

by Jennifer Bush,

CJ credits Career Management for always encouraging students to go out and network in landing his summer internship at famed advertising agency Wieden + Kennedy.

In this BearcatHoop podcast, Kip Ioane, Head Coach of the men’s basketball team, catches up with CJ Walker MBA’20 at the start of CJ’s second year at Willamette MBA. 

This past summer CJ worked as a Strategy Resident Wieden + Kennedy, an agency that counts Nike as one of its clients among many other well-known brands. He credits Career Management for always encouraging students to go out and network in landing this internship. 

CJ Walker“The summer going into business school [Career Management] had us do a lot of summer online classes, really getting us ready for business school,” CJ said, “And something that they really stressed was ‘Hey go out and talk to people in the fields you want to go into. Network with these people. Get to know what they do, what their journey to the point in their career was like. And try to understand them to help you understand what you want to do in the future.’”

CJ reached out to a former colleague, who put him in contact with Alexandria Lianopoulos, Associate Producer at Wieden + Kennedy. Through his informational interview with Alex, CJ was able to connect with HR employees at Wieden + Kennedy. CJ eventually landed a summer internship at Wieden + Kennedy, working on a team whose clients include Samsung and Facebook. Today, he counts Tom Suharto, Group Strategy Director at Wieden + Kennedy as one of his mentors. 

He credits the critical thinking skills he gained at both the College of Liberal Arts and Willamette MBA and the analytical skills he gained at Willamette MBA for his successful internship at Wieden + Kennedy.

To learn more about what CJ asks during informational interviews, how to “soak it all in” during a summer internship, and what other skills CJ considers crucial in the professional world, listen to this podcast.


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