How to Enjoy Networking: Give More to Get More

How to Enjoy Networking Give More to Get MoreNetworking. My stomach used to make backflips at the mere mention of the word. Somehow, I’d come up with a ridiculous excuse to avoid meet and greet events altogether. I used to see networking as a forced, unnatural way to get contacts for when you need help, such as when you’re looking for a job. I quickly learned that networking is more about what you can offer the other individual as a professional and less about what you can gain from meeting them. I had the ill-conceived mindset that networking is for the sole purpose of getting a job. At this point, that’s not meeting people but instead piling up contacts in hopes to utilize them or their connections to land your dream job. I wouldn’t call myself an expert networker, but here are some suggestions that worked for me!

 

  • Meeting people at different networking events and scheduling informational interviews are great ways to obtain insight into a particular graduate school program or career path. You’re not only gaining valuable information but in a sense also constructing your brand by illustrating your authentic interest in building a network! Your goal in an event shouldn’t be to grab everyone’s business card, but more so meaningfully connecting with 2 or 3 people.
  • If you’re passionate about a specific area of interest, look into who might be in your targeted field and the work that they’re doing. Even making just one but strong connection makes a lasting impression on the other person and they will most likely want to be a mentor or person of support in your career endeavors.
  • Allow yourself to naturally make connections and develop relationships with others. Your goal is is to make meaningful interactions with people you’re genuinely interested in meeting and conversing about their interests and work.

Where Do You Meet People?

Attending networking events is fantastic, but I believe they make up a small part of the act of networking. You meet people at work, on campus, at the park, where you volunteer, on the T, basically, anywhere you’re having interactions with others. You can kick off with the network you’ve already worked so hard to build without knowing it! One of your biggest networks and mine too is most likely Northeastern.

Your professors, the staff, the police officers, and of course, your friends and other students are all part of your huge network. These are people who you can seek help from whether it’s for pressing questions about a particular industry or genuine interest in the work that they do. And also remember, everyone has their own network, so even if they can’t help you directly, they can always refer you to someone who can. If there are trust and relationship built between you and that person, why wouldn’t want to lend you a helping hand and introduce you to someone who can?

Joviane Bellegarde is a Northeastern Alumna hailing from the Class of 2014. She graduated with a BS in Biochemistry and is working at Brigham and Women’s Hospital as a Technical Research Assistant. In her free time, she enjoys reading, catching up on her favorite shows, and expressing her inner geek. Email her at bellegarde.j@husky.neu.edu or connect on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/jovianebellegarde.

Review your Networking

Give me a first and last name and you can be found in the internet. Whether it’s an article from a high school newspaper, your LinkedIn, or a social media profile, it’s out there. And being wary of it is crucial.

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I’ll google myself, and you should too. I know that my social media comes up, because no one shares the same name as me (oh the joy). I’m aware that this is available to a potential employer. I’ve gotten those LinkedIn notifications that someone from a job I applied for looked at my Linkedin, which means they probably did a quick google search of me.

This being said, besides just making sure my LinkedIn is up-to-date with employment, job descriptions, and certifications, I make sure my social media is too. We live in a world where we are all connected and since it’s out there, I’m taking advantage of it. I list my employment on Facebook, have a professional profile picture, and make sure there’s no discrepancies between all. Maybe I’m neurotic and this is only me, but having a professional outlook on social media is necessary, in my opinion. Continue to share what you normally would, it’s a part of who you are. I’m not going to not share a running article or an EMS article I found interesting; it’s a part of who I am and will probably come in an interview. And that’s cool.

Women Leaders Making a Difference

This post was authored by Anu Singh

GOTHow do you make a difference? It’s a question that betrays a sense of idealism, a preoccupation with contributing something worthwhile, something that touches others and improves their experience. It’s a question that becomes more pressing as time goes on and a part of your life comes to a close. What are you leaving behind, what did you do that was positive and helpful?

When I was approached by a close friend about putting on a conference bringing successful, women to campus to talk to students about professional life, I thought it would be a small affair. Something a bit low-key, especially since it was the first time that it was being held. Now it’s turned into two-day event with fifteen amazing speakers, two hundred expected attendees, and a large team of students all working to make it happen. The momentum that took the vision to reality was astounding and it couldn’t have been possible without the help of so many people in the Northeastern community.

Moving from college life to professional life is a change the majority of us have to make. This change evokes many questions, thoughts and feelings: the apprehension, the anticipation, the intimidating realization that you’ll have to learn a whole new set of rules, get used to a new normal. How do you balance your work life with your personal life? How do you network and get to know people if it’s not something that comes naturally to you?

These are questions many college students ask when they’re taking the first steps in their careers, and some of the questions we’ll tackle at our conference. You learn by doing, but the advice and wisdom of people who’ve done it all before – and succeeded – is invaluable. Therefore, the aim of all of our work is to bring a resource to students – especially women – who would benefit from the guidance of inspiring people. It will be a chance to hear valuable advice, practice networking and ask your own questions about transitioning from a college life to a professional one.

Please join us for the first inaugural Northeastern Women’s Leadership Conference on April 1st and 2nd. Tickets are on sale myNEU. For more information, please visit our website.

Anu Singh is a Class of 2016 Computer Science and Biology major and a founding executive board member of the NU Women’s Leadership Network.