Sorry it's been awhile since we put up a blog post, but as always the life of a FEMBA is extraordinarily busy. Congratulations to those who have been offered a position in the Class of 2017, should you have any questions feel free to reach out to Jennifer, Sandeep or myself.
So one topic you'll hear a lot about during your time at Anderson is the importance of Networking, however one of the most common hurdles to start networking is thinking about even how to begin. Here's a few tips I've picked up along the way that I've found really helpful:
1. Know what you want
In joining the Anderson network you now have a whole new group of people you can connect with and learn from. Always remember that those who are willing to connect with you are helping you out, know what you want to learn from them, and be reasonable in your requests.
2. Do your homework
If your dream has always been to work at Company X with a function of "fill in the blank here", your search should start with people who have either worked at that company or have experience in that position. Once you're able to find a few people you think you may want to talk to, check out their LinkedIn and see what you can learn about them before the talk. Also it goes without saying to do your research on the company before you talk as well.
3. Show Gratitude/Be Sincere
To achieve success at any level, it requires a lot of time, discipline and focus. Realize that if someone is willing to take 30 minutes of their time to talk to you, they are intentionally hitting pause on their schedule and that's a big deal. Always, always, always send a thank you email and do your best to keep in touch. Also, sincerity goes a long way.
There have been many people who have gone above and beyond to help me out over the years. Whether it was with information, conversation or even new jobs, I can attribute a lot of my success to networking. It doesn't stop there with what I can personally gain from networking, it's about giving back and helping out others anyway you can as well. Personally, focusing on helping others helps to change my attitude and view of networking and makes it a shared experience of focusing on shared success.
5. Do what you love
Lastly, Networking doesn't happen just at formal mixers or happy hours (though those don't hurt), but it is very possible to just do what you love and find others who share your passion. Case in point, I love basketball and myself and a few other FEMBAs have started to play regularly. Not only are we getting exercise, but also getting to know each other better.
There are many more items I could add, but I'll leave you with that for now.