W. P. Carey Alumni Share 5 Tips for Successful Virtual Networking

We asked W. P. Carey Alumni: What tips would you share for successful virtual networking?

Here are the five virtual networking tips they shared:

  • Start With a Goal in Mind
  • Do Your Research
  • Make a Good First Impression
  • Don’t Be Afraid to Let Your Personality Shine
  • Find Your People

 Start With a Goal in Mind

As an undergraduate student, I found virtual networking invaluable. Platforms like LinkedIn can give you access to professionals that you admire most. My biggest tip when looking to be successful in virtual networking is to start with a goal in mind. There are several reasons why you could be networking: job opportunities, career advice, or even to learn from a pro in a particular field. For example, say your goal is to learn a bit more about a successful entrepreneur’s journey, you can then narrow down a list of focused and intentional questions that you have prepared to ask that person. This will help expand your knowledge base and get the most out of the interaction that you’re virtually having. 

Amanda Wade, ‘20 W. P. Carey Business Communications Major, Cents

Do Your Research

The best tip to share for becoming a successful virtual networker has to be researching who you want to reach out to beforehand. We have access to so much information that a simple Google search, social media search, or word-of-mouth digging could provide an excellent way to spark up a conversation. If you want someone to truly remember you, you should ask a question or make an introduction that connects to strong aspects of that person’s life. Maybe you both have a similar work history or enjoy rock climbing. Being personal, approachable, and memorable all starts with a trip to the virtual library.

Colin Romaglia, ‘21 W. P. Carey Certificate, Sales and Marketing Essentials, bChannels Inc.

Make a Good First Impression

Think about your background and lighting – how you present is so important. Try to sit facing a window to ensure you’re not backlit. If a window or light source is right behind you, it’ll wash you out. Also, be mindful of what’s in your background to prevent any distractions from the conversation. You can even get fun with it and find a Zoom virtual background online to use!

Lindsay Hahn,‘18 W. P. Carey Certificate, Marketing & Sales Essentials, Greater Phoenix Economic Council

 Don’t Be Afraid to Let Your Personality Shine.

With so many automations and spam accounts, it’s not hard to tell when someone’s message is manufactured. It’s important to stay true to yourself while remaining professional, no one likes to feel like they are speaking to a computer. Avoid using buzzwords without examples to illustrate. Don’t hesitate to connect with others who share similar values. Use the internet to your advantage: a place for you to begin or enter any conversation.

Hannah Dahlgren, ‘17 W. P. Carey B.S. Marketing, Senior Brand Manager

 Find Your People.

Most professional cohorts have developed communities uniquely geared toward making virtual connections. Step one is narrowing your focus to communities that have people you’re looking to connect with as a part of them. Step two is narrowing to those communities with robust virtual options (Slack/Teams groups, monthly webinars, or virtual meetups). Step 3 is joining and adding value so the community can learn what you can bring, and what you’re looking to get from the community!

Vinnie Cholewa, ‘10 W. P. Carey MBA,  Relode

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By W. P. Carey Career Services Center
W. P. Carey Career Services Center