"Learn how to get really good at telling your story"
The school did different leadership programs, certifications or executive coaching and I would leverage those things to build my network. I know that there may be some questions about how to truly do that; for instance, if you have the opportunity to be assigned an executive coach, have that coach help you create a plan for networking, have them connect you to people. Bottom line, they know a lot of people who can really help you. Learn to get really good at telling your story. People don’t want to meet with you just to hear bullets, they want to hear your story. They want to sense some passion and excitement about what you want to do and where you came from. So, as you continue to meet people, whether it is professors or people in these other programs, use those opportunities to practice and get better at telling your story.
Another thing that the school does is that they have information sessions where organizations will come to hire for internships or postgraduate employment. It’s really a must to go to those sessions if you want to interview with a company. Also use those opportunities to build your network and meet more people. If it’s a company that you might not be interested in, still go and listen to what they have to say, introduce yourself and let them know what you want to do and see if they know anyone who they could connect you with. What you’ll find is that many of them might have a friend from their business school experience who works for a different company and they can help make that connection.
Another thing is that on your own, I would start to work with your own personal network that you come into business school with. Whether it’s family or friends, church or community, begin to meet with those people and tell them why you chose to go to business school and what it is that you want to do afterwards and ask them to help connect you with people who might be able to get you there. It’s really just about meeting people, telling them your story and hoping that there’s a connection or hoping that they know someone with whom they could connect you.
"I know that people get scared of the word “networking”, but it’s really just about the connections and friendships that you make ..."
I really feel strongly that even as an undergrad, but even more importantly in graduate school and business school, it’s really about the connections that you make and the network that you create because that’s what comes back to help you as you build your career.
As you run into issues at your job, it’s nice to have that peer network to go to and say “Hey, I’m working on this. What are you working on? What are you thinking about?” Making those connections with the folks you went to school with, even people before and after, it helps you get a job and it can help you get other people a job and find talent to build your teams at your company. Networking is really important. I know that people get scared of that word “networking”, but it’s really just about the connections and friendships that you make and the strong bonds that are forged from going through a similar experience together. Over time, that’s the kind of thing that will help you move forward in your career and your friendships.
Meet Alumni, Admissions Staff and learn more about the importance of networking at The MBA Tour Conference near you.