During Marketing Week, Meade Johnson, our executive in residence, came in to speak to us about her top ten tips for networking in the modern age. She challenged us to “network” at least once a week and make any situation a possible networking opportunity. I didn’t think it was possible for any of this to work, but I put her tips to action right away!
When a professional from a company I admired came to speak to us during Marketing Week, I immediately knew I had to impress him. Meade told us to always “be yourself” during every interaction with other professionals. When I began to strike up a conversation, I tried to let my passion for the industry and company come through without being rigid or too professional. After his presentation, I made sure to ask questions and follow up with a thank-you email.
How do I know my interaction worked? Within that week, the professional had sent my resources to help me study more about the industry. Within the month, he had sent me a link to a new internship posting for their company that he thought I may be interested in. I now have a call with the company account manager (wish me luck).
My takeaway from this success is that your authentic self is the only self you need to bring to networking events. Just show genuine interest and have meaningful conversation, and someone may be willing to help you get job, reference, or more industry knowledge.