Networking skills

Most of our alumni find jobs through their personal network. We encourage our students to grow their networks already during their studies on various networking occasions and other events organised by the university, faculty or the bachelor or master programmes themselves. However, we know that networking does not come easy to all our students.

 

 “There's a saying within the startup-world: it doesn't happen if you don't get out of the building! Just start, build your network and make mistakes (like everyone), the faster the better. Because the key is learning and changing your business based on those real-world mistakes, instead of trying to create the perfect business idea on paper.” Jorg Lescher, ECE Corporate Partnernships

 

Networking tips by Janelle Ward

Networking. Elevator pitches. Sounds boring and phony, right? I used to imagine networking as some awkward event where people handed business cards to each other. An elevator pitch was a moment where you pulled an executive aside and gave her a monologue about your career ambitions. Maybe she smiled, took your card, and that was it. You never heard from her again.

But it doesn't have to be this way! If you see your professional identity as an integral part of yourself, and want to develop and improve it, these skills are invaluable to acquire and master.

It can be done in a smooth, natural way. It’s better to see networking as a way to make new acquaintances. If you love rock climbing and meet someone at a party who is also enthusiastic for the sport, it would seem natural to chat about your passion and probably exchange Facebook info. This works the same way with professional contacts: You want to build connections and relationships within the profession you are pursuing. Sure, they might eventually help you get a job, but networking is about much more than short-term gain.

The elevator pitch is also part of this. Don't think of it as a canned, 1-minute speech about yourself. Regularly evaluate what your goals are, what you want to learn about, and which companies you want to connect with. Then, when you meet a person who matches with your interests, you'll know what to say.

If you're a second year IBCoM student, you will take the course Communication and Media Practice in the first and second term of the academic year. In that course you’ll learn more about these important professional skills and many others designed to help you make a successful transition to the professional world.

You’ll also hear from a number of professionals working in the media and communications field, who will speak to you about their career paths. Guess where I found these people who are willing to give us their time and expertise? Through my professional network!” Janelle Ward, IBCoM lecturer