In previous posts, we have either explicitly stated or alluded to the power that networking holds. Broadening one's network produces invaluable benefit when utilized properly. In todays Student Life Blog, I would like to share a few practices that I have, personally, discovered to be effective in the arena of networking.
Personal branding in the arena of networking is an applicable skill across the board. People inherently form initial opinions based off of one’s visual presentation, which is why I believe there is a way to use this to your advantage; not by overspending on clothes, shoes, and the like, but with simple maintenance. I discovered, during my first year in the MBA program, that prestigious companies or representatives from them periodically venture onto campus. As a student, you may not always be aware of when they will be in attendance, however networking opportunities exist nonetheless. Therefore, value lies in continuous preparation.
Secondly, effective delivery of one’s “30 second commercial” or “elevator pitch” affords people the opportunity to buy into you and your vision for your future, and therein lies the purpose of networking—striking common ground and finding mutual benefit. An elevator pitch or informal resume is a clear, concise summary of what you have done, want to do, and what you can bring to the table in give or take 30 seconds. Clearly stating one’s elevator pitch helps people evaluate the capacity in which they can help you achieve your goals and your ability to reciprocate. Practicing your elevator pitch in advance provides time to configure the nuances, so you can be prepared, as you NEVER know when a chance to network will present itself!
Lastly, once you look polished and you have practiced your elevator pitch to perfection, it is time to add the cherry on top—confidence. The confidence in your ability to network comes with the practice of your elevator pitch and the aforementioned overall preparation. Networking is NOT the time to be shy! When presented with an opportunity, we must seize the moment in order to connect and broaden our respective networks.
Hopefully, this was helpful insight into a few techniques available to broaden your network. Please leave any comments that you may have! Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and “like” us on Facebook, as well! Until next time…