..at least most effective“Networking is the No. 1 unwritten rule of success in business.”
— Sallie Krawcheck, CEO and Co-Founder of Ellevest
Successful entrepreneurs wouldn’t be where they are today without creating connections to find new business opportunities. Networking is arguably the most effective personal marketing tool out there…and guess what? It costs absolutely nothing but time and energy!
It’s often hard to know where to start with building a business network for yourself. Choosing to study for a business degree provides opportunities to create a network at your fingertips.
Opportunities to network at university or business school
Networking through the programme
>Take advantage of internship opportunities
Internships are a great way to experience the real world of business, whilst providing opportunities to work with established people within an organisation. Making a great impression will ensure you’re remembered for future opportunities or given a high recommendation for your business portfolio.
>Participate in workshops and conferences
Extracurricular activities are often optional and tempting to pass up on, especially when there’s a lot going on. But placing yourself into these sessions could result in a game-changing opportunity. You never know who you might meet! Guest speakers, industry experts and experienced faculty participate in such events, you may one a connection that influences your career.
Network with Peers
> Be open-minded
The beauty of attending university or business school is that you’re automatically mixed with a cohort of individuals, sometimes from different corners of the globe! Take time to get to know each one, they’ll offer a different perspective on things based on their background and experience and may open up their personal networks to you.
> Connect outside of the classroom
It’s surprising how often important connections are made whilst not ‘talking business’. People invest in people. Finding common ground and mutual interests in casual conversation builds trust and rapport in a relationship.
Network with Professors
> Ask for advice
Professors will always appreciate a student who shows a keen interest in the subject they are delivering. It makes their job worthwhile. Your professors will have an extensive network themselves and will be willing to help those who demonstrate commitment and enthusiasm.
> Take an interest in their work
Ask your professors about their journey…where they started out and how they got to where they are today. You may find some personal inspiration from their story and potentially some common ground.
Network with Alumni
> Make the first move
Most alumni would be willing to give advice and guidance to any current student who takes the time to reach out to them. They’ll have the freshest information about opportunities within the market, as they are just one step ahead of you. They might even give you useful pointers on what not to do.
>Don’t ask for a job, ask for guidance
If approaching a past student for help to access an opening or an opportunity, be sure to express your interest and ask for a point in the right direction, rather than directly asking for a job. By demonstrating that you are willing to take advice on board you’re more likely to get a referral.
How to master networking
- Be genuine and authentic
Tell your story, don’t be tempted to embellish facts or exaggerated. Your skills, personality and experience will be valued by the right connections. Remember it’s very hard to be consistent with something that isn’t true once it’s out there.
- Be aware of your online activity
These days most people have a digital footprint and are therefore are easily exposed. Be careful choosing which photos, opinions and remarks are connected to you online. Anything posted on your social platforms can be easily traced by a future employer, investor or collaborator further down the line, it could even be enough to break down a relationship if it’s not to their liking.
- Push yourself out of your comfort zone
It isn’t easy for most people to put themselves out there and approach someone, but it’s surprising the magic that can happen once finding the courage to try. University or business school creates an ideal safe space to trial introductions and conversations to build confidence. The more times you do it, the easier it becomes.
- Help someone else out
If you come across an opportunity that isn’t right for you, pass it along to someone else who you think may benefit from it. Doing someone a favour goes a long way and is never forgotten. The person you’ve helped may have the opportunity of a lifetime for you further down the line.
- Don’t take rejection personally
Relationships only work if there’s mutual benefit for all parties. They’re based entirely on connection and if that connection isn’t there, it won’t serve you or them positively. Don’t be afraid to admit that something isn’t working, there’s very often a good reason why.
SSBR currently have a student body with 29 different nationalities, as well as a large faculty team with a wealth of international experience. By signing up for one of our online degree programmes, you’ll have exclusive access to this extensive knowledge and business experience. Take a look at our professor profiles by following this link:
To enquire further about any of our online Bachelor, Master or Doctorate programmes, get in touch with our team today: