Chuck Slemp, a 2010 graduate of the Regent School of Law and the School of Government, was recently sworn in as an attorney in both Tennessee and Virginia. While he may not know where his career will take him, he knows that he would not be where he is today without the impact of the many networking relationships in his life.
Before pursuing his law degree, he met and worked for Attorney General Jerry W. Kilgore, Interim Attorney General Judith Williams Jagdmann, and then-Attorney General Robert F. McDonnell, who encouraged him to consider law as a profession. He had the opportunity to work on the campaign trail, interact with many people in high levels of state government, and learn from their leadership.
Chuck sees networking as a lifestyle, not simply a job-hunting activity: "Networking is essential. I never have actually seen it as networking. Wherever I go, whatever I do, whomever I meet - I see it as an opportunity to make new friends, influence new lives, help others, and serve others. If you share a smile or an encouraging word or a friendly handshake and you're willing to serve others, you will be remembered. Networking is …service thorough personal relationship."
As a recent graduate, Chuck is thankful to be starting out in a law firm in Southwest Virginia, an opportunity he obtained through the power of his network. One of the many connections he made on the campaign trail was with an attorney in Charlottesville. Keeping in contact with her eventually connected him to the job opportunity.
Chuck advises, "You never know what might come - it could be a new friendship, a future employer, or some information that would be helpful to your career. Never have an ordinary conversation or an ordinary day or an ordinary meeting with someone - never consider it just a handshake and a 'Hi, how are you?' Every time you encounter someone new, you never know if that will be your only meeting or if one day five years from now they will be signing your paycheck."