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Help Me, I'm a Student

Hit up power players for advice now--while you're young and nonthreatening.

By Nichole L. Torres

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

You may dream about one day having a personal chat with thepowerful, highly influential star players in your industry. But ifyou're like young entrepreneur Devin Lazerine, you won'thave to wait until some far-off day to chat with the who'swho--you can do it now. Lazerine, now 22, was e-mailing and callingbig-name publishers and famous rap and hip-hop music stars to helplaunch his magazine, Rap-Up, in 2001--at the ripe old age of17. Running, a website that discusses the ins andouts of rap music and culture, Lazerine initially thought he'dwait until college to get the magazine off the ground--but one dayafter school, he just decided to get going. "I startedpitching this idea to publishers," he recalls. He simply wentto newsstands and found the names of the bigwig publishers withwhom he wanted to get in touch, and then e-mailed them.

According to experts, it really is that easy to start ramping upyour high-profile contacts. "You can call anybody--and in astartling number of situations, people you were scared to call orthought you couldn't call will not only take your call, butwill be helpful," says Bruce Kasanoff, a professional speakerand author of Making It Personal: How to Profit fromPersonalization Without Invading Privacy."Paradoxically, you often have an easier time reaching out toentrepreneurs, executives and politicians while you're incollege than when you're actually out in the job market,because you're not perceived as selling to themdirectly."

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