“Her Advice: The Insights of Networking”

Ladies, something that we constantly get questions about and never seem to learn enough about is networking. It can seem like a super daunting thing, but we promise, with a little bit of practice and the right attitude, it’ll become second nature to you! 

 

Something I always like to say to people is that the second half of the word network is WORK. Which means, yes, you have to put in the work to see the results you want! You can’t expect to build your network of connections or have meaningful conversations with someone if you don’t know what to bring up, don’t do your research, and don’t reach out in the proper way. At our first annual Her Panel on Wednesday, one of the panelists, Danielle Tullo, who was the co-founder of our chapter here at Fairfield, said that she absolutely hates when people reach out to her and you can tell they want something from you. The best way to go about it is by reaching out to someone with a shared interest, or to learn more information from them! 

I know for me personally, it seemed like a really creepy task to try to network, and that the person on the receiving end of my messages definitely thought I was insane. I couldn’t have been more wrong! People like to feel special, so when you reach out to someone, make them feel that way, and highlight why you decided to make contact in the first place. You can network with literally anyone-your uncle’s secretary to someone you share a conversation inside of a coffee shop. You never know who you’ll meet in this world! There’s no shame in reaching out to someone in the DMs, or to message them on LinkedIn. 

 

That being said, don’t be afraid to ask them questions! If you think you might want to go into the same field as someone and you friend them, don’t forget to message them and ask them what they love and what they hate about their job! People will be honest with you, especially when it comes to stuff like that. Ask to have a phone conversation, or if they’re local, meet for coffee! It’s a great way to get to know them in a casual setting, minus the professional interview attire. 

 

Another successful part of Networking? Keep. The. Contact. If you consistently reach out to someone over the course of a few years, especially if it’s an Alumni from Fairfield, building that connection and developing that bond is crucial. Although the ultimate goal of networking is to find a job, don’t let that be the deciding factor. Don’t go into a conversation with anyone expecting them to give you a job next week; that’s not how the business world, or any world works. If you build a meaningful connection with someone, chances are down the road, they may consider you for something, but don’t only reach out to people to network for that reason! 

 

Well, Collegiettes, that was a little piece of our advice into the terrifying world of networking! Hopefully, this helps a bit with the awkwardness, but remember, only you are the one that can tell and feel like that-so don’t let it get in the way! You’ll all be networking pros in no time.