October 30, 2015 by cristindoyle
Networking. It’s one of those catchy buzzwords we McCombs kids like to throw around. We learn about it in BA101 and it’s on every other flyer your eyes come in contact with—but what does it really mean?
As you go through your journey both in school, and into the professional world, you will come into contact with incredible, interesting and bright professionals. What makes them so? Their experiences.
Your network of people you’ve met along your journey can be an example and even lead you to discover your next goal. Your network is a resource, uniquely tailored to you and your experiences, so let’s make sure you’re utilizing it to the best of your advantage!
Pro Tip 1: No need to email blast your network every week. One PC, Josh Vick, said he keeps an excel document with name, position, company and emails people of importance to him about every 6 months with an update.
Pro Tip 2: Send a relevant article to someone in your network. This is one of my favorite ways to stay in touch. It shows you are staying intellectually curious and also that you want the relationship to be mutually beneficial.
Pro Tip 3: Use LinkedIn. Let’s be real, it’s Facebook for professionals, and can be a valuable tool to follow up with people you’ve met. You can even set specific notifications for people that are especially important to you. There LinkedIn has a great website just for university students. It includes super helpful tip sheets and videos:
- Student Profile Check List
- How to Network on LinkedIn
- Alumni Tool where you can look at professional’s and their career paths
- Student Jobs Portal to help you find job opportunities based on alumni relations
- Webcasts to learn best practices for transition into the professional world
Finally, keep in mind, they’re people, not just professionals. Connect your conversations to work but if there’s something you have in common—this can be a nice break for them to talk about something they’re passionate about that you connect on.