Networking for Newbies: Takeaways from An Environment Faculty Networking Event

Networking for Newbies: A Leadership Series Breakfast, hosted by the Faculty of Environment, inspired undergraduates and graduate students to put themselves out there and make connections. The party included alumni ready to give their tips and tricks and the next generation ready to follow their direction but ultimately create their own path. Alumni came from far and wide with diverse backgrounds like GIS Manager to a Data Scientist at Shopify (shoutout to the Knowledge Integration program!).

The job hunt of today is a corporate jungle gym. Rather than a straightforward ladder with only two directions, the jungle gym is an accurate representation of the adjustments you’ll have to be light and quick on your feet to make.

This event provide help navigating this jungle gym through open discussion as alumni took on a mentoring role.

 

Here are the biggest takeaways I gathered from attending the event:

  • Technical Writing is an important skill to have no matter your discipline.
  • Establish your brand. Update your LinkedIn. Be unforgettable.
  • Know yourself. A suggestion for this is to take the Myers-Briggs type indicator test! The better you know who you are, the more confident you can be when proving you are more than fit for the role.
  • When you do network, demonstrate evidence as to why a connection is beneficial for both parties.
  • Don’t let them slip away. Keep in touch in a casual way rather than asking for favours.
  • Where STEM is important to other disciplines, Environment majors thrive through knowing GIS, Environmental Assessment, RStudio, and report writing. These are skills recruiters will see as a huge asset.

 

This was the first time this event was also open to graduate students and this step forward really helped to ease the nerves of thesis-writers yet to step out into the real world.

It is highly recommended that these opportunities are taken as they pop up and into your career. Whether you’re in environment or not, I hope you find many takeaways from such a spectacular event. You can find more networking events like this  in Winter 2019 or keep an eye on those emails piling up in your inbox!

“Work to cultivate and nurture the relationships in your existing network, they can be your strongest asset.” - Chris McLaughlin, Executive Director of the Bay Area Restoration Council