Every year as MIS students, we have opportunities that many students in other majors at The University of Alabama never get. On Thursday, September 27, we had the opportunity to go to a Mock Networking Event hosted by CTS. This event took place in the AIME Lobby and the dress was business casual. Knowing how to network is one of the many skills you need, but, like interviewing, there is no better practice than actually doing it. We were fortunate that about 15 employees from CTS came to give us an opportunity to practice networking with professionals. Afterwards, the professionals gathered to talk about what the students did well and not so well. Then we all went to room 110 in AIME and Ryan Robinett gave a small presentation.
He started by introducing himself and briefly talking about CTS. He then began to give us some feedback about what the professionals thought we did good, where we had room for improvement, and general tips when networking. Here are some the tips to think about the next time you are at a networking event:
1) The Handshake: should be firm and consistent; not different depending if you are shaking a man’s or a woman’s hand
2) Proximity: don’t get too close to whoever you are talking to
3) Voice Projection: watch your tone; don’t be too quiet
4) Listen!: don’t be worried about what to say next and fail to listen to what they are saying
5) Be Prepared: do research about the company; have interesting topics to talk about (doesn’t have to be business related); come up with ways to join and leave conversations; rehearse
6) Be Comfortable Being Quite
7) Create Comfort: be engaging; don’t talk about “heavy” topics such as politics or religion
8) Know Your Audience: go beyond their website
9) Be Interesting: be memorable in a good way
Overall, this was a wonderful opportunity to practice then learn how to network with professionals.
Mario LaRussa, MIS Junior