Cawley Insider: Tips & How-to’s for Networking!
October 24, 2021 – Upcoming Events, Opportunities & Resources
Networking can be especially difficult these days, with not knowing who may/may not be comfortable with meeting in-person, Zoom fatigue, and the overall jitters of meeting someone new. Nonetheless, it is just as important now than before. Networking is NOT about gathering as many business cards as you can, being the loudest person in the room, or name dropping. It IS about developing a dialogue that extends beyond just one event or interaction to a point where your network can help you in time of need.
The easiest place to start networking is with alumni. None of us at the Cawley Career Center have ever heard an alum say, “Gosh, it’s so annoying when students reach out to me.” Alumni love talking to undergrads. Most say that someone helped them when they were an undergrad so they are happy to return the favor. (And remember that when you are an alum yourself!!)
However, it’s up to YOU to reach out to Hoyas, and others you know
Where Do I Find Alumni?
You can find Hoyas by:
- Attending virtual events (check Handshake for upcoming events)
- Using Hoya Gateway to find alumni and seniors to talk to about their experiences
- Using LinkedIn to find alumni at various companies
Don’t panic if you don’t receive a response. LinkedIn, the best online networking platform, only has a 30% response rate. So if you don’t hear back right away, reach out again after a few weeks. Click here for a sample outreach email you can use as a model.
But what do I say?
“But I don’t even know what to say or what to ask. It’s so awkward!”
The main objective is to keep your objective in mind – what do you want to know about him/her? How did they get to where they are? What clubs were they in at Georgetown? Chicken Madness or Burger Madness?
People love to talk about themselves, so get them talking. Aim for a 10-15 minute, fun conversation and it will start to feel less and less awkward. Here is a list of questions you can use to get the conversation started.
Then, follow up.
Send a thank you email. Check in with him/her in a month or two to give them an update on your progress, or to wish him/her a Happy New Year/Fourth of July/Labor Day. You don’t need to send them a whole newsletter of your own; just a quick 2-3 sentence email. THEN, when you need their help, you can ask for it directly and it’s not awkward.
Finally, don’t try to network with everyone every day. Aim to have one conversation per week or even every two weeks. That’s 8-15 new people in a semester. Not bad! And keep a spreadsheet to track who you have spoken to and when.
Need more help? Come to our drop-ins Monday-Friday from 1-3pm and ask. Virtual drop-ins are also available Tuesday & Thursday, 10-11am & 7-8pm. Hope to see you there!
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Career Center Resources
New drop-in hours for spring semester!
Drop-ins will now be available (new window) from 9-10AM Tuesday through Friday, 1-2PM Monday through Friday, and 7-8PM Monday through Thursday every week.
Appointments: Virtual appointments are available via Handshake (new window). Sign up under ‘Career Center,’ then ‘Appointments’, then ‘Industry Advising,” then ‘Government, Nonprofit, and Education’.