A Habit of Networking

by Jennifer Loesch '09

Jennifer Loesch ’09When I graduated from Scripps, I had a naïve understanding of networking. I saw it as a calculated approach to relationships with an end goal of making the “right” acquaintances for self-advancement. My understanding has evolved drastically since then.

I have learned that networking is an expansion of something we all do naturally — connecting with others. Growing the social and professional spheres I revolve in makes my life more interesting and rewarding. It has become important to me to make connecting with others a habit.

This habit has paid dividends, enriching my life greatly in the five short years since I crossed the graduation stage on Elm Tree Lawn. It has impacted every aspect of my life, from my career and intellectual pursuits, to my personal life.

At Scripps, connecting with people I found interesting was easy. After graduation, I quickly discovered I would need to put more effort into maintaining friendships and meeting new people. Continuing to participate in the vibrant Scripps community was important to me, so I considered what I could offer.

I committed to donating annually to Scripps, giving me a direct investment in the Scripps community. Additionally, creating a profile on Life Connections, the Scripps Career Planning & Resources online networking tool, helped me connect with alumnae and students who share common interests. As a young alumna, I enjoyed the opportunity this tool provided me to mentor students about working at a top film studio, which I was doing at the time.

The Scripps network has been especially influential in my career. From a marketing internship at Warner Bros. Pictures as an undergraduate to my current role at the nation’s oldest investment counseling firm, personal interactions have started discussions that have influenced my career path. Sometimes an introduction was made or advice given. Other times, I expressed an interest that led to a serendipitous opportunity.

During Reunion Weekend in 2013, I attended the event “Financial Fitness for Women.” As an economics and psychology major, decision-making fascinates me, and personal finance is something I am passionate about. I saw this presentation as the perfect checkup to determine if I was on the right track with my finances, and I hoped to learn more about the behavioral tendencies that affect women in their financial lives.

In Toll Hall’s living room, Associate Professor of Economics Sean Flynn and Linda Davis Taylor, Chairman and CEO of Clifford Swan Investment Counsel and then Chair of the Scripps Board of Trustees, led a dynamic session. Afterwards, I thanked Linda and Professor Flynn and expressed my enthusiasm for the subject. This started a dialogue with Linda that eventually led to my career at Clifford Swan.

Taking inspiration from Ellen Browning Scripps, approaching interactions with others “confidently, courageously, and hopefully” enriches my life daily and is a habit I am determined to retain and cultivate.