Professional Networking - Alumni Featured Frog

Paul M. Kanitra '01
President
Lobbyit.com

 

How has the TCU Network benefited you in your career?
When I was preparing to graduate and enter the workforce, I was fortunate enough to connect with some Horned Frogs who had already found success in the political arena. Hearing their stories and understanding their career trajectory helped me tremendously to plot out my own. Today, it’s important to me to pay it forward. I talk to students and younger grads often and try to impart some of the same wisdom on them that I was lucky enough to receive. Surrounding yourself with Horned Frogs also gives you a sense of comfort in that you know what type of person someone is just by virtue of the TCU connection. My Legal Counsel, Senior Director and SEO Consultant are all Horned Frogs and the firm always leaves an internship position open for young, bright TCU talent. 

Have you accelerated possibilities as a result of your Horned Frog community?
Since I’ve graduated, I’ve been a member of the Dallas, NYC and DC alumni chapters and attended TCU events in Los Angeles, Kansas City, Chicago and Denver. The nationwide community I’ve developed as a result has helped facilitate fast success in my career and enabled me to assist others in doing the same. 

Were opportunities opened up that otherwise would have been limited without your Horned Frog connections? 
Definitely! The TCU network on Capitol Hill is larger than you’d think and a very close-knit community. On a regular basis, I’m teaming up with fellow alums to work on legislative and regulatory initiatives that are helping to shape our country. 

Were you hired by a Horned Frog?
No 

Have you hired a Horned Frog?
Yes, multiple! 

What opportunities and tools did TCU give you to be successful in life?
When I arrived on campus in 1997, I fulfilled just about every stereotype you could think of as a freshman from New Jersey. And even though after graduation I was still wearing 4 button suits and driving a Camaro with purple neon in it... TCU had changed me. I was so much more well rounded when I left. Interacting with students, faculty and staff from all walks of life helped lay the foundation for a career that depends on being able to relate and connect to everyone. Not only that, but it instilled a set of values in me that are desperately needed sometimes when dealing with Congress! 

What is your current involvement with TCU? 
My lobbying firm, Lobbyit.com represents TCU on Capitol Hill and shares the Horned Frog story with our Members of Congress and the Administration. Additionally, I’m a sitting Board Member and Past President for the Washington, DC alumni chapter! 

Why do you stay involved and why do you think it is important to stay connected to your alma mater?
It’s a sense of pride and family more than anything else. TCU may be a Divison 1 school, but it feels so much smaller than that. It really creates a sense of community and a feeling that you’re all in it together. I think that’s the reason Horned Frogs are such passionate sports fans… because not everyone gets the honor of being one! When a place is unique and intimate at the same time it tends to breed a lot of passion. I truly enjoy the feeling I get by continuing to be a part of things. 

What is your message to the students of today? 
If you graduate without having done an internship, you’re really putting yourself at a disadvantage. Not only do companies expect applicants for “entry level jobs” to already have experience, but an internship is the first opportunity you’ll really have to begin building a professional network. Networking when you’re younger is awkward and difficult. People more advanced in their careers don’t always see value in you, so they tend to be somewhat dismissive sometimes. That said, you need to recognize that they have what you need... knowledge and connections. Forcing yourself continually out of your comfort zone is a vital part of success. And walking the fine line between keeping yourself in front of someone and pestering them is equally important. Most job offers and promotions have as much to do with people liking you as they do your qualifications. If you act with that in mind, you’ll get to where you want to be in a much shorter time! 

 

Paul Kanitra '01 Click to View    Barry Davis '84 Click to View    Bo Soderbergh '75 '78  Click to View    David Pond ’89  Click to View    Chris Westfall ’95  Click to View   Jason Forrest ’00  Click to View    Brenda Cline ’82  Click to View    Frederick

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