I'm a busy college student... where and how can I network to have the most efficient use of my time-- and the most impact?

terpAMA weekly meetings - Before and after the meeting with fellow students and the speaker(s).  Often, several individuals will come from the business or organization--reach out to those individuals who are accompanying the speaker.

 

Fellows events as well as business honoraries meetings.

 

The Smith Undergraduate Marketing Conference held in the fall - network with speakers, many of them young, Smith marketing alums between sessions and at the dinner at the conclusion of the Conference.

 

DC and Baltimore Professional AMA chapter meetings. Plus, the DC Ad Club's meetings.

 

Speakers in class - They appreciate insightful questions during and after their presentation.

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Hosts at company visits 

 

SUSA's NYC Alumni event in the fall - remember the alum may not work for a company that you want to work for or their job responsibilities might be different but they have a network and are often willing to help you.

 

Networking and informational events sponsored by Smith's Office of Career Services, the Dingman Center and the University's Career Services in Hornbake.

How to work a room at a networking event

For some, this may be more anxiety-producing than writing a 10-page paper for a class.  It does get easier with practice so don’t wait until you are a senior to go to networking events.

 

You’ve just accepted an invite to a networking event so what should you do?

 

  1. Prepare a 2-3 sentence introduction that not only gives a summary of what you do, but should also talk about something that makes you stand out or make someone interested in learning more.

    You should also put together a list of things you can share with others throughout the event to keep the conversation going such as internships you’ve had, class or club projects you’re working on, an interesting book you’ve just read.  Don’t plan on sharing this with everyone…just consider them props for when the conversation starts to stall.

    Oh, and those icebreakers.  Avoid “What do you do?” when you meet someoneInstead try,
    “Do you have any travel coming up?”
    “Are you watching -------------(Popular TV show)?”
    “I’ve been looking for a good book to read.  Do you have any       suggestions?”
    “Love your necklace or tie.  Where is it from?”
    Try to avoid talking about the weather, traffic, where they live, etc. 
     

  2. Say your full name loud and clear when you meet someone.  May want to toss in a word association such as “rhymes with…”.  Try to come up with a couple of ways you can help others remember your name if it’s long or difficult to pronounce.

    When the other person gives you his or her name, repeat it back. Why? It shows that you are interested and helps you remember it for later. As you move to the next person, be sure to say the person's name again as you leave.
     

  3. Three-minute rule.  At a large event, try to move on to the next person after 3 minutes.  That should give you enough time to make an impression.

    Excuse yourself, step away to greet someone or refresh your beverage.     
        

  4. Show them that you are interested.  You’ll actually feel less nervous. So, when talking to another person, look into their eyes (refrain from scanning the room looking for others), smile, laugh—you’ll put them at ease, too.  You want to turn small talk into meaningful conversation.

    Ask thoughtful follow-up questions.  Resist asking questions where it would be easy for the other person to respond with one-word answers.
     

  5. Remember that the networking doesn’t end at that event. The next day send a brief email to everyone you met letting them know you enjoyed meeting them, follow up on your conversation from the event and then try to add something personal such as an article that you think they might like or mention a movie, book or band you think they might like.

© 2017 BY MARY HARMS & JAKE HUGHES