How do you network? - SMS First Year's Guide #2
Updated: Jun 29
Written by SMS
SMS First Year's Guide Issue #2
How do you network?
The elusive concept of Networking is, shortly put, scary to a lot of people. However, with SMS’ guide to networking for this Week 3 edition of our First Year’s Guide, we’ll try our best to demystify this seemingly daunting task into a pleasant, beneficial and enriching experience.
You hear this term a lot around the Business School, but what exactly is networking? It's the activity of people coming together to form business relationships. Networking is mutually beneficial for both parties as opportunities, new information or even potential business partners can arise from such meetings. It is a crucial skill for marketers to practice and learn, and will definitely benefit you greatly in future.
Now, lets take the SMS Corporate Networking Event, as an example to learn how to network!
Before the event:
To gain the most value out of networking, it’s best to come with a few things in mind: ➤ Research the companies you’re most interested in beforehand so you can ask questions specific to that company or industry.
➤ Perfect your elevator pitch! An elevator pitch is a 30 second introduction about yourself and your career aspirations
➤ Create a LinkedIn account so that you can connect with anyone that you found useful talking to.
Now for a quick STYLE GUIDE
What you wear says a lot about who you are and what you represent. Networking events can vary in tone; some may be more casual and easy-going, while others may be more formal and conservative.
➤ Dress appropriately for the tone and weather.
➤ Have some staples in your wardrobe; you can’t go wrong with a simple blazer, dress shirt/blouse, dark trousers and walkable shoes.
DON'T: ➤ Wear anything too short or uncomfortable.
➤ Wear slippers or sneakers.
➤ Overthink or fear judgement from others, as long as you feel comfortable in what you’re in, your confidence will show.
The SMS Corporate Networking event is more relaxed, so don’t stress if you can't change after class for such events, but do try dress appropriately - business casual if possible.
During the event:
➤ Introduce yourself with confidence! First impressions count, and it’s good for the person you’re talking to to understand the context of why you’re asking questions. ➤ Ask open-ended questions such as: ➤ What do you do on your day to day? ➤ What’s the most exciting part of your role? ➤ What’s different about your company’s culture? ➤ What do you look for in recent graduates? ➤ What options are there for me as a (x year / penultimate / final year / international / Masters) student? ➤ Make sure you are able to note down any thoughts or additional questions that might pop up.
After the event: ➤ Follow up on your new LinkedIn connections! Company representatives often speak to a lot of people during networking events, so it's best to introduce yourself in a way that helps remind the representative of your connection. Try sending invitations with custom messages reminding them of something insightful they taught you.
➤ Research the companies you found most interesting or engaging. Look at their LinkedIn pages, websites or even any available job or internship opportunities.
Give these tips a go at your next networking event, new job or any other business setting, and you’ll feel comfortable in such environments in no time! And get keen for next week for our next instalment of Sydney Marketing Society's First Year Guide.