A lot of the connections I’ve made during my time as Global Officer have been through introductions from my personal network or the Northeastern network. Many people talk about networking and how it’s one of the most crucial skills you can learn, and I would absolutely agree. I’d like to use one of my peers, Cory, as an example of the power of networking in action.
Cory and I had first met when we were living down the hall from each other during my freshman year, and over the years, through shared interests in things like the Entrepreneurs Club (where we won Audience Favorite at the Husky Startup Challenge freshman year, pictured above), we became much closer friends and colleagues and have stayed in touch since.
A few months ago, about two nights before I left Boston, Cory Bolotsky and I sat down to catch up before I left. He wanted to hear all about the plan ahead and see where he might be able to help. He asked me about some of my first planned destinations, and as I listed them, he started rattling off names of people that he knew with whom I should definitely connect.
Fast forward one week later and I’m off on my journey and in London trying to plan meetings for both Dublin and Amsterdam. Then, as if on cue, I get a few emails in my inbox from Cory giving me very warm introductions to his connections in Amsterdam and Dublin. After I followed up with their emails, I promptly connected with them over the phone and they ultimately helped set my entire schedules in each city.
Melissa Ablett, who is from Boston and moving out there helped me setup 4 extremely successful meetings in Amsterdam. Max Doyle, an entrepreneur and student from Trinity College Dublin, helped me sit down with the administration from Trinity College and a few other great startup folk in Dublin. And Aimee Williams helped me set up meetings with some awesome potential employers.
Jump ahead two more months and I’m heading to Tel Aviv in two weeks. I know Cory spent an entire co-op out there and made some great connections, so I reached out. Two days later, I had 9 introductions in my inbox all from Cory. Those emails resulted in 6 very successful meetings and a lot of new opportunities and connections for other Northeastern students.
Every time he helped out, I was unsure how I could give back for him going so far out of his way to take the time to make all of those introductions. Trying to better understand, I asked him why he was so willing to help connect me to his network, and here’s what he said…
“The reason I have such a large global professional network is because of opportunities that have been afforded to me through Northeastern and my co-ops. I’ve grown a tremendous amount from those and I want the program to continue to grow globally because it is valuable both to students from a learning perspective and from companies, large and small, around the world to get access to high-quality globally minded talent.”
In addition, Cory touched on the fact that it’s good for his own network to be a connector and make intros to smart-liked minded people, citing that the world we live in now is all about who you know.
Sometimes we might not consider our peers or our friends to be an immense asset to our careers, yet they often can be way more helpful that we initially think. Asking your friends, fellow classmates, and recent grads will often provide surprising results, especially when you consider the network that they have built up professionally. People like Cory Bolotsky and Curtis Bergh who have been connectors for me have provided me with access to many incredible people who are now committed and willing to help Northeastern students.
Cory just graduated from Northeastern this May and became the Director of Operations at MassChallenge, the world’s largest startup accelerator. His role includes helping MassChallenge launch in new locations around the world, so he’s basically got the Global Officer position as a full-time gig!