Networking is important for virtually every worker across every industry. The utilization of a robust professional network can help individuals accelerate their careers and find the right opportunities. As a Master of Business Administration student, you’ll need to have the tools to grow your professional network. Here are some tips on how to network.
MBA students can attend networking events to meet new people and get their own name out there. Look for industry conferences, seminars and summits near you. Some MBA students seek out events such as startup competitions, that enable aspiring entrepreneurs to pitch ideas to potential investors. Ask your fellow students and instructors whether they know of any upcoming networking events you could attend.
Reaching out to alumni can be a great way to network. Talk to your academic advisor about the best way to utilize the alumni directory. Make an effort to contact multiple alums in your industry and ask if they’d be willing to answer a few questions for you. If you’re completing your MBA online, try to find alums who live in your area and invite them to meet you for coffee.
Informational interviews are particularly helpful for MBA students who are thinking of transitioning to a different industry. You can request informational interviews with individuals who work in moderate to high level positions in the industry you’d like to gravitate toward. Typically, in an informational interview you will learn:
- What skills you should focus on during your MBA program to be successful in that particular field
- The pulse of the industry and determine whether it’s really the best choice for you
- Which path to follow to end up in the role you want
During an informational interview, it’s considered poor form to ask for a job outright. However, having that individual in your professional network may help you to find your ideal position in the future. Remember to send a thank you note following the interview.
Past or Present Coworkers
Your coworkers can be an excellent way to network and therefore discover new opportunities. In whatever field you are currently working in, get to know your coworkers, be sincere and establish a good name for yourself. Making your name not only known but respected throughout the field you are working in can be very beneficial.
When you consider the term “volunteer work,” you might get a mental image of a soup kitchen or food pantry. God commands His people to serve others, and so these volunteer positions are certainly worthy endeavors. However, if you’re looking for volunteer work that will build your professional network, you might consider checking your local Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber’s website might not list volunteer positions available, but you can still call a Chamber representative to inquire about opportunities.
You might also consider joining the board of a charitable organization. Generally, it’s expected that board members commit to serving for at least one year. The type of work you’ll do depends on the organization. If it’s a smaller nonprofit, you might handle the day-to-day details of running the charity. Board members of larger nonprofits tend to do more governance work.
You can apply to the Master of Business Administration degree program at Grand Canyon University with no GMAT required. Study online from anywhere and complete your MBA while continuing to meet your professional obligations. Click on the button above to “Request Information” about GCU’s multiple MBA programs.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University.