By Fern Visutvattanasak
Hooray! Let’s kick off our very first blog post of the 2018-2019 Academic Year with a very important topic.
One of the biggest buzzwords in business school is “networking”. Have you ever been curious why lots of people talk about networking? Is it really helpful?
There are many ways to build your network while you are still in school, to give you a solid foundation for future opportunities.
I personally have been to many networking events since I started my journey at DePaul. I never knew that these people I met would turn out to create a meaningful network for me.
The Kellstadt Marketing Group has provided me with valuable experience throughout my journey at DePaul. KMG strives towards its vision to be the best graduate student organization in Chicago and continue growing. Also, KMG connects DePaul graduates with alumni and other professionals by offering a wide range of professional networking, speaker series, educational workshops, and the KMG symposium.
Although I’ve been with the group for a few years now, I’m still learning things at every new KMG event. At our recent Fall 2018 KMG Kickoff Happy Hour, there were three key takeaways I had from the event that I wanted to share with you.
1. Learn from Others
It’s important to discover a new tactic or technique for the job search. Why? Because sometimes this can be the difference between getting just another job and finding a dream career. Every time I go to network, I learn new things. This includes not only getting to know people’s career paths, but also tips you can learn from other successful professionals.
Sometimes people don’t expect to just hear from you. It’s a two-way conversation: they really want to talk more about themselves, and that is a good thing! Even just by having friendly conversations with others, you may find something in common and this helps nurture your relationship. You may find some inspirations and passions from them. Remember: stay hungry for knowledge.
2. Get Good Practice
Some of you may think that networking events are just about talking and finding out if there are any job opportunity available for you from other professionals. But these are also opportunities to sharpen your interviewing skills. If you already know people who are going to the event, you may want to do some research on what they are doing, come up with questions for them, and be ready to answer their questions at the same time. Talking about your personal and professional background with people you network with can make real interviews more natural and interactive.
3. Help Others in Your Network
What they say is true: you give more than you get. At networking events, we are looking for meaningful connections through which we can help each other. Most of the time when you end a conversation with someone at a networking event, you say “Please let me know if there is anything I can help you with” and exchange contact information. People may or may not ask for favors but at least you let them know that you offer your help to them. I realized that this is how to network effectively. First you help, then you ask others to help you.