So you’re in the midst of an MBA program. Have you started thinking about how you’re making connections that can lead to a job once you’re done? Most likely, you’ve started to think about what graduation will bring, what companies you’re most interested in, and how the workforce can help you achieve your long-term goals.
However, most people overlook simple networking opportunities available. One key opportunity is to talk to people you already know. Leads from those you already know may generate points of contact that can develop into job opportunities.
- Talk to: Your family members, friends, relatives, neighbors, former employers and co-workers, community leaders, local politicians, journalists, your hair dresser, professional organizations, (school or organization) alumni, and professors.
- Places to reach out: Class reunions, cocktail parties, local Chamber of Commerce, Business After Hours events, fundraisers, conferences, conventions, organization meetings, retreats, volunteering, classes, career fairs, speaker series, and local alumni association. Networking with these individuals can happen over coffee, at the office, or at a block party.
- Ask people around you if they have worked with others who are looking for individuals with your skills sets. By clearly announcing your interests and goals, you may find links you would have otherwise been unaware of.
In efforts to avoid hurting your reputation, make sure that you are building relationships that work as a two-way street. Do not abuse your network by constantly asking for help without providing support in return.
From an academic perspective, our College of Business MBA Program works to have students constantly interact with business professionals to make connections throughout their program. Through a weekly speaker series students have met with Anadarko leaders; the Chief Financial Officer of Starz, LLC; and a Baltimore Ravens executive.
Check out our Executive Speaker Series webpage to find out more about who our students network with.