Recently I attended a networking event held by Quinnipiac in which undergrad Communications students were invited to attend a panel discussion of alumni who are working in a field of communications. This kind of event is always great to take advantage of because you are welcomed into a group of your peers where their experiences are directly related to your goals.
Networking is what it’s all about. A good connection made while networking can make all the difference in getting that new job or promotion, or great recommendation. As college students, we need all the connections we can get to help put a foot in the door.
While attending this event, I was reminded of a March 2nd article on Yahoo Finance: “Seven Networking No-Nos.” This list of ‘what not to do’ actually helped to guide myself through the event and kept me focused. (I always need to remind myself to not chat someone’s ear off and focus on meeting more new people).
I found myself thinking about points from the article the most throughout the event because networking events can be overwhelming. Arriving a little late and walking into an already crowded room can be intimating, so when I arrived a little earlier I was able to introduce myself to a few alumni on the panel before the panel started, allowing me to think of questions before the discussion even started!
The ‘Less is More’ attitude enabled me to give my undivided attention to each person I spoke with, which actually made the entire conversation more relaxed and free flowing since I wasn’t sneaking glances around the room planning who to speak with next.
Follow-up notes are surprisingly less awkward than one would imagine, some may feel strange emailing someone they just met, but that’s the whole point! You have to start the relationship somewhere and I think sending a link to a recent project is the perfect ice breaker! You could even take this advice one step further and email potential employers with an article that relates to them and ask a question or purpose a thought.
What do you do to stay focused while networking? Would you use any of these tips or have you already? Let me know!
Erin King, VP of Unbanking