The act or practice of connecting with people in order to exchange information and create a business or social relationship is known as networking. Networking at a graduate school entails making the most of one’s time as a student and extending its effect beyond the degree. This broadens one’s professional network by providing access to people, resources, and skillsets. Networking introduces students to a larger and more diversified spectrum of people with whom they may not have previously interacted.
Many people enrol for an MBA programme in the hopes of expanding their professional network. Getting access to a good network is one reason people pay exorbitant fees for a program at a premier B-school. Knowing the who-is-who of the corporate world sets the successful executive apart from the rest. In a competitive world, the right contacts can deliver almost anything the work in hand demands in a business.
How does networking on the campus pay?
- A LinkedIn survey showed that recruiters rely on networking connections to fill around 85 per cent of jobs. Employers offer some jobs to their contacts before posting the vacancies online or advertising via mass media. Eliran Ben David, an MBA student, told the Financial Times that his contacts over coffee at a student-alumni event helped him secure an internship with Amazon.
- The network one acquires during an MBA program prepares the foundation for turning one’s career after the program. The task defines the graduate’s career trajectory and influences his professional life. One can enhance career opportunities available through the right contacts. Recruiters and clients value the opinions of business associates, alumni, and the people they trust. Networking is another platform for learning.
- People gain in-depth knowledge of their chosen sector while broadening their perspectives on relevant areas. Networking enhances a person’s perspective by providing insights into new cultures, novel ideas, and cutting-edge ideas. He can grasp the techniques of the corporate world and learn the subtle nuances of a boardroom that a classroom may not provide.
- Networking can enhance one’s academic and career profile. Prospective employers are more conducive to familiar names or faces. A prospect’s brand lures employers or clients to make them open to offering employment or conducting business.
- Campus networking results in multiple connections for a person. Besides the classmates in one’s batch, graduates connect with both in-house and visiting faculty, alumni, and people one interacts with during internships, conferences, and other events during the program. Each of these contacts could lead to more connections.
When should one begin networking?
One can begin networking well before joining a B-school.
Start by contacting alumni and classmates. Most of them might have their profiles on LinkedIn, the school’s alumni network, and other social media sites.
Some experts suggest separating one’s accounts of Twitter/Instagram/Facebook from official ones. Contacts in personal accounts may share frivolous posts while tagging the person, which could be embarrassing in professional circles.
How does one make the necessary connections?
One ought to seek the right contacts with meticulous research and planning. Emailing the contacts while sending a request on social media adds a personal touch. Chances of the other party accepting the connection improve with a private message. Prior research provides the person’s areas of interest from which one can select a common place to begin the connection. Following up on friend requests is crucial to remain in touch.
What are the other benefits?
A network of contacts for business is a path to a personal market. Business networking provides a route to reach decision-makers who may be difficult to approach through conventional methods. Networking furnishes one with a personal endorsement that helps establish business opportunities.
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