I started out at Scotcampus Magazine as an intern back in April and I have continued to stay involved with the team by writing online features regularly. However, after I received my university timetable, I was really pleased to learn that there are over two days where I am not required in the university for classes or lectures. Therefore, not only have I been volunteering, in-office, as an editorial assistant for a day each week, I am also now a certified ‘Author’ on Scotcampus.com and, thus, have the power to edit and publish my own work freely.
This article was written for the physical magazine, the theme of which was work and employment. I have various other articles in this edition, too, which I will also post on here. So, watch this space!
Networking. Is there any other word that makes us want to retreat to our beds as quick as this one does? The mere thought of approaching pompous industry professionals, dressed to the nines in a suit jacket/slim trouser combination to detract from the nervous upper lip sweat, as you try to tell strangers how wonderful you are: this is the stuff of nightmares.
Luckily, though, there are a variety of networking styles in the present day which make it a lot less daunting for up-and-coming industry stars to blow their own trumpets in a formal setting. In order to attract new faces, industries are working to make the entire process more enjoyable by introducing informal gatherings in accessible environments.
As students, networking is something you may encounter fairly soon, and so, this seems like a good opportunity to disintegrate some of the myths surrounding it. Trust us when we say that it’s not always going to be freshly pressed shirts and fake smiles.
Myth 1: You only get one shot
You are literally moments from your final exit and you’re drained. The evening has been spent making small talk with anyone who will listen to you big yourself up and talk about your achievements. But every time you mentioned your golden selling point, no one seemed particularly excited. Don’t feel disheartened. Follow up any contacts with a short email reminding them of your conversation and your enthusiasm for the company. If nothing comes of it, the harsh reality is that they likely won’t remember your face and you’ll have a second shot next time.
Myth 2: Networking is very formal
With the internet proving more influential than ever before – the rise of the blogger/vlogger ever within our peripheral vision – more connections are made online now than ever before. As a result, casual meet-ups with food and drink are the first choice for many industries; simply putting a name to a Linked In profile or blog is sometimes all it takes for a person to make their mind up about you. Careers fayres, for example, are annual and aimed at students, and so they are much more about your ideas and personality than staged, formal events.
Myth 3: You have to be overly confident if you want to be remembered
Networking is not about reciting your C.V. to umpteen CEO’s. The function of networking is to unite like-minded people to create new opportunities for a cause they are interested in. With this in mind, you can never demonstrate your knowledge of a company enough. The key is tying what you know about it to what you know about yourself and finding harmonious relationships that you will be able to be of benefit to.
Header image background taken from pantheon.co.uk