Networking is a critical aspect of your graduate program at Smith, and something everyone needs to be comfortable with in life. Networking occurs at social events with friends, professional events and school events with alumni. Networking forces us out of our comfort zone and forces us to connect with strangers and find a common ground. Everyone has to do it and let’s admit, it is not always easy! Below are a few tips to consider when in any type of networking situation to make it a little more natural.
Networking can be broken down to a few key points:
- The handshake:
- This is the key to a good or bad first impression.
- Make sure it is firm, steady, and confident.
- The conversation:
- Figure out a way to connect and keep a casual flow.
- Speak slowly and clearly.
- Ask good and well researched questions.
- Find a personal connection and be genuine.
- Always ask for a business card or a way to follow-up.
- Make a lasting and positive impact.
- Shake hands and thank the individual for their time.
- The follow-up:
- Reach out within 24-48 hours of meeting the individual.
- Thank the person for their time.
- Reference the prior conversation in a memorable way.
- Ask a thoughtful question or request a time to learn more information.
Below are some articles for networking success if you would like to read and learn more! Good luck!