Thomas accepted an offer at a different firm, Credit Suisse, but he says his willingness to pull a working holiday was what got him a final-round interview at J.P. Morgan. He also had an accelerated interview over the holiday break at Credit Suisse. "It's definitely not something people typically do," he says of holiday networking.
[Check out six networking tips for college students.]
If they are networking on Thanksgiving or other holidays, students should avoid inappropriate behavior, says Diane Gottsman, owner of The Protocol School of Texas, a company specializing in corporate training.
"Don't drink too much," she says. "At a holiday event, all eyes are on you, even if you are at a social function, and you never know who you will meet that can offer you a job or give you a future reference."
Two other experts also offered words of caution, in terms of your expectations during a holiday break.
Beverly Lorig, director of career services at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Va., says students shouldn't be discouraged if alumni or other contacts decline to meet during the week of Thanksgiving.
"Be realistic. You brought your books home, but you probably won't study either, right?" she says. "So start with a gentle offer for meeting around Thanksgiving, but focus on getting a confirmed meeting in early December."
Vicki Salemi, author of the book Big Career in the Big City, says students should stay off the job boards and enjoy the turkey on Thanksgiving Day.
"A job search is a marathon not a sprint," she says. "So enjoy the holidays overall while remaining steadfast to your employment goal."
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