The Importance of Networking
By Georgia Evans
When I started my position as Account Director for Inigo, I did not know what to expect. I was also happy in knowing that I would gain a wide variety of nifty skills that I would not have gotten otherwise. One of these skills included networking. I went to my first networking event at 1871 with a lot of questions and a lot of fear that I would not be good at networking. At first it was hard as a student to build the confidence to go up to a group of professionals dressed in nice suits in mid-conversation and pitch our agency. Who were these people? Why would they want to listen to me?
What I realized was that I in fact did have a purpose being there. It is my job to network and find new business for this agency that I have put my heart and soul into. So why was this job any different? With the help of a few other members, we were able to get our toes wet in something that we will have to do for the rest of our careers in PR, marketing, advertising and in the business world in general. Making connections is something that will never go out of style. Face to face contact with people about forming relationships is a skill that most employers rarely find in their applicants, so getting the opportunity to do this and creating results from it reaps a pretty great reward.
Here are a few networking tips that I have yielded along the way:
Know your worth - I may not make connections with everyone at these events or make connections with every person I talk to, but it is important to realize that what you do deserves to be talked about. Inigo is such a groundbreaking type of communications organization for students and our surrounding community. Even if someone cannot offer their business, I’m able to get the word out and gain awareness for our agency.
Know your elevator pitch - If you are confident and believe in what you are saying, you will communicate better. Be clear about what you are conveying to people and do not forget to listen to their response. This will create a meaningful dialogue when creating these connections.
Be polite - Another thing that will never go out of style is manners. Remember to say hello, shake hands, ask their name, say thank you and ask for a business card. People will appreciate these gestures more than you would think, and they will help you go a long way.
These three tips have helped me so much even beyond the world of networking. They have taught me to always put forth confidence and poise in myself when navigating the job market.