The networking reception often has a way of making people nervous; there’s something forced (and dare we say awkward?) about the whole situation. If you find yourself dreading this afternoon’s reception, take heart; plenty of people have done this before, and those people have great advice to offer you. Here are some tips from SBI alumni on how to survive, and even thrive, in the artificially constructed environment known as the networking reception.
“Do your research before the reception. If you know who is going to be there, you can impress them with your knowledge of their company. It will go a long way to having your resume seriously reviewed.” – Nathan Swain, Chemical Engineering Major, SBI 2012
“Step out of your comfort zone to make your connections. Even if you don’t think you have anything in common with a potential employer or even if you don’t think you might be interested in a certain industry, don’t hesitate to strike a conversation with these knowledgeable professionals.” – Nick Holden, History Major, SBI 2013
“Don’t be timid/afraid to talk to the professionals. They want to be there and want to help you out.” – Joe Lenz, Economics Major, SBI 2013
“If you’re searching for something to say, just ask the industry professionals about their particular field or position. Their responses will help to break the ice and give you a better idea of how their position relates to your own career aspirations.” – Greg Dahl, Political Science Major, SBI 2013
“The first question you ask a new business contact is important, but follow-up questions can be even more important. It shows you are listening and genuinely interested in what (s)he is saying.” – Janine Perri, English, History, Honors Triple Major, SBI 2012
“Take advantage of finding out more information about the different companies that attend the reception. Make sure to follow up with an email or phone call to show interest in the company and any job/internship opportunities.” – Ashley Reed, Mathematics Major, SBI 2013
“This is one of the best things about SBI. Compared to any career fair during the school year, there are fewer people trying to talk to and connect to all the professionals at the reception. This allows you to make better connections with them. Take advantage of it.” – Ginny Lee, Civil Engineering Major, SBI 2013.