The inevitable fear of a majority of ISM students - cold calling. This task is not easy, reaching out to the real world and asking to talk to professionals in your field of choice is extremely nerve wrecking. Being an ISM 2 student, I can clearly remember the fear that I had last year regarding cold calling. However, rather than focusing on this nerve wrecking aspect of ISM, I was given the opportunity to help the ISM 1 students regarding their cold calling techniques, and giving them tips and tricks regarding how I approached this process last year.
The best piece of advice that I was able to give was to avoid sound scripted. I clearly remember cold calling last year, and that was my personal biggest issue that I had when cold calling. I emphasized to the ISM 1 students that the most important thing is to be natural, and that the phone call should flow just like a normal conversation. In addition to avoid sounding scripted, I noticed that a handful of the students that I was assisting was struggling with finding the polite and proper way to request an interview. When explaining it, I explained this concept in terms of a formula. Requesting an interview is a tricky thing, but I liked to break it down into three different steps. You ask them for an interview, tell them what you hope to learn and why you want to learn it, and then start requesting dates or asking which dates work best for the professional. So, for example, asking for an interview from my end would sound something like, “Part of the ISM curriculum is to conduct brief interviews with professionals that work in our field of choice. I decided to study music this year, as it has always been a passion of mine and I definitely want to gain a more in depth understanding about the real world applications of it. Is there a convenient time in which I could sit down with you for 20-30 minutes, just to ask you a couple of questions regarding your career?” I found that being able to help the ISM 1 students with their cold calling skills definitely forced me to reflect upon mine and seek improvement, making it a win-win situation!
I’m excited to observe as the ISM 1 students begin cold calling. I can’t say the same for myself, because as of this week I am already in the process of scheduling my first interview (more of that to come in a future weekly report). This year in ISM is moving much faster than it did last year, but I am definitely ready to dive right in and see where the year takes me.