As a senior marketing student at Champlain College I am currently enrolled in the Marketing Capstone course. We were recently lucky enough to have Katie Taylor, Director of Workforce Development and Entrepreneurship at the Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce give us a presentation on continuing networking after graduation. In this presentation Katie went over the 10 Do’s and Don’ts of Networking and I have decided to share with you what I took away.
What To Do
According to Katie, she recommends a 50-90 second introductions for formal networking events, but only a 15 second introduction for informal events. I think like anything else in your life, being prepared helps you give off a more professional vibe. Above all else being prepared shows that you care, which in networking will help you show others that you are taking the event seriously.
I thought that this was one of the better points Katie made. Rather than going to networking events in your field you should broaden your horizon and attend events where you don’t know anyone. Her point was that you never know where you’ll end up so you should keep an open mind.
3. Have Business Cards
I guess this was more of a relief than anything seeing as I spent a few hours making a business card. Having something to physically hand to someone helps leave a lasting impression and makes you stand out from those that don’t have one.
This is another one that’s important to consider in all parts of your life if you want
people to continue wanting to talk to you. Listening shows that you care and that yo have the time to dedicate to that person, which helps make things more personal.
5. Be Authentic
You are going to a networking event to meet people and make meaningful connections. The more authentic you are when meeting people the more they will remember you and connect with you.
What Not To Do
1. Be Overzealous
The goal of a networking event is to make a few meaningful connections, not to meet as many people as possible.
2. Get Drunk
This one seems like it would go without saying, but then again I guess we are college
students so maybe it is necessary. I look at this as more of a “don’t go to an event hungover” because in my mind that is more likely yet also won’t go well because you won’t be yourself.
3. Forget to Follow Up
Even better than a business card, sending a follow up email is a great way to leave a lasting impression. It also shows a person that you care and remember meeting them, which makes them feel important.
4. Be Timid
Meeting people can be really intimidating, but you need to realize that other people are most likely nervous as well. I find that finding common ground with the person you have just met and connecting over that works well to help both parties feel comfortable.
5. Stop Networking
Simple and to the point. Continuing to network is essentially
inevitable and is also very worth your time. A big takeaway I got from Katie is that you’ll never know where you’re going to end up. As a senior about to graduate college I can say for sure that I have no clue what my future holds for me. I see a lot of value in making connections with people in different fields as I may change my field of study at some point or need help from a peer in the future. Although I think this presentation would have been more valuable as an incoming student, I still found Katie’s points to be very helpful in thinking about future networking events.