A few weeks ago I was begging everyone I know to vote for me for the Unity Journalists’ New U business pitch competition. If you voted or helped spread the word, THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart!

I won the online vote, and am waiting to find out my score from a panel of seasoned entrepreneurs. Their score counts as 2/3 of my total score … if I win, I get $10k in seed money for my writing company.

The program I participated in was wonderful in every way. During the program, each contestant was matched with a mentor.

My mentor was AMAZING! His name is Rod Colon, and he’s a master networker, executive/career coach, author and radio show host. Based in New Jersey, he worked for JP Morgan on Wall Street for many years as an executive recruiter before launching his own company in 1997. He has traveled all over the world helping students and professionals navigate their career.

I consider myself very fortunate to have had an opportunity to attend college and benefit from all of the resources available — including lectures and programs on campus, my school’s career resource center, etc.

Following a magazine layoff in 2008, I became a career advice junkie and still follow a ton of career blogs to this day to try to stay proactive in my professional growth.

Even with all of these opportunities, I can tell you that I have learned SO MUCH from Rod since I met him in October. Even with all of the resources available to me, there was/still is so much I never knew about networking.

Rod has changed my life. Every Tuesday, we have a standard mentorship call in which we discuss business/career strategies, opportunities, etc. I’m really grateful to have met him, and I feel the need to pay it forward.

As a young woman, I wasn’t always comfortable negotiating salaries, tooting my own horn, or taking credit for my work.

Rod has taught me so much in such a short time. I’m talking insider secrets from his experience on Wall Street — a world that someone like me, the granddaughter of Mexican migrant farm workers, would never have access to.

If your school, company, organization, church, etc. needs a dynamic speaker to empower you … Rod is your guy. And no, I’m not getting paid to say this or paid for speaking engagements he acquires.

I’m saying this because he’s that good.

I’m saying this because I believe his message is too good … too essential … to keep to myself.

I’m saying this because I know that you WILL benefit from hearing him.

Want to meet him? Here’s his contact info:

Rod Colón
Master Networker, Professional Development, Executive Coach, Speaker, Author
Weekly Co-Host of Radio Show “YOUR CAREER IS CALLING”
732-367-5580
www.RodColon.com

Also, I just finished reading a great book on networking that Rod suggested to me. It’s called Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi, and I highly recommend it!

–Ashley Cisneros
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Ashley Cisneros is a co-founder of Chatter Buzz Media, an Orlando Internet marketing firm that helps companies and organizations engage with their target markets through inbound marketing via the Internet. Chatter Buzz Media, which won the Social Madness competition for the Orlando small business market, is a full-service digital marketing firm specializing in website design, search engine optimization (SEO), social media marketing and content creation. Prior to founding Chatter Buzz, Ashley worked as a newspaper reporter, magazine editor, technical writer, marketing manager, public relations practitioner and freelance journalist. To see Ashley’s content writing, visit www.ashleycisneros.com. You can also reach Ashley on her Google profile.