Networking is the buzzword of business school and you will learn to both love and loathe the word. If you don't already know, you'll soon learn that the Pepperdine network is in effect throughout the LA area and will be a huge asset as you search for an internship and build relationships.
5 Networking Tips
- Be the first to introduce yourself. Whether you are at a networking event, a conference or simply a mixer, remember that everyone is there with the intent to meet new people. If you are standing near someone, do not ignore them, you never know who they are or what company they work for! Smile, introduce yourself and shake their hand.
- Ask engaging questions. Now that you have introduced yourself the fun begins! Ask engaging questions and listen to the answers. Even if you think you have nothing in common with the person you are speaking with, they may be best friends with someone you want to know.
- Bring business cards. Sounds obvious but it is an easy thing to forget, and nothing makes you look unorganized like showing up to an event without your business cards. Pay for the business cards that Pepperdine offers. People are consistently impressed with the quality of the school's business cards. When you have finished getting to know the person you have been speaking with, offer them your card and express interest in meeting up with them soon.
- Follow up! Within 1-2 days of meeting someone and getting their business card, follow up with them. Email them a short, personalized message.
- Its not all about you. What can you bring to them? As business school students we use networking as a tool in our hunt for an internship and a job. Just remember that as you meet people, think less of what they can do for you, and more about what you can do for them. This will make people more at ease and more likely to actually help you in the long run…and isn’t that what networking is really about?