We asked W. P. Carey Alumni: How can W. P. Carey students be positively remembered when networking?
Here are 4 the career missteps they shared:
- Be Authentic and Follow-Up
- Move Forward with One Specific Topic from the Discussion.
- Be Interested–Not Just Interesting
- Share Your Interests
Be Authentic and Follow-Up
When networking, your goal is to develop relationships. I would recommend that you have a solid elevator speech to introduce yourself to individuals or to the group that clearly states who you are and what you do.
Practice it until you are comfortable and authentic. As others introduce themselves, make a mental note of at least three people in the group that you would like to get to know better because they do similar work or for potential collaborations. Follow up with these three people at the meeting or afterward and ask for a Zoom or in-person coffee chat.
It is often the relationships you build through the coffee chats that will result in friendships and professional opportunities.
Jennifer Drago, BS Finance ‘89, Peak to Profit, LLC
Move Forward with One Specific Topic from the Discussion
I have found that it is always helpful for both parties to connect if I follow up with one specific element from our discussion; this works for text & email equally well. For me, this goes beyond, “great conversation” to, “I am still thinking about your comment on [insert unique point] and would love to carry it further in our next discussion.” This helps tie their memory to the conversation, indicates a desire for another conversation, and has a specific call to action.
Nolan Andelin MBA ‘11, Provenance Technology Corporation
Be Interested–Not Just Interesting
One of the common pitfalls of networking is people think they need to be “interesting” and do a lot of talking about themselves to the other person. However, what is most memorable is when you ask questions and are genuinely interested in them! That will resonate and stand out when they think through the meetings they have had. Feelings that resonate with them will stand out better than any interesting stories you may tell.
Michelle Tinsley, MBA Finance & Supply Chain ‘99, YellowBird Holdings Inc
Share Your Interests
Networking should be fun like a Halloween costume party, but ironically like Halloween, it’s just a bunch of people masking their true selves. Embrace your quirks – a unique trait, an obscure show you’re obsessed with, etc. What’s something YOU find fascinating but most of the world ignores? Share that!
Juan Kingsbury, BS Global Business ‘04, Career Blindspot