In this new blog series, our mbaMission Career Coaches offer invaluable advice and industry-related news to help you actively manage your career. Topics include building your network, learning from mistakes and setbacks, perfecting your written communication, and mastering even the toughest interviews. To schedule a free half-hour consultation with one of our mbaMission Career Coaches, click here.
Once you have secured a networking meeting, prepare to make the most of the opportunity. Ready yourself for the meeting with the same level of seriousness and dedication as you would for a formal interview.
- Conduct industry, company, and contact research so you can generate ideas for potential questions and can customize how you talk about yourself.
- Adapt and practice your pitch (your story/what you want to be remembered for).
- Prepare at least five or six tailored questions to ask during the meeting.
During the conversation, focus on your goals. We suggest a three-part agenda:
- Opening – Establish a common bond, explain the purpose of your meeting, and deliver your pitch.
- Discussion – Ask your prepared questions, and gather advice/insights. Do not ask for a job; communicate your knowledge of/passion for the industry and the company.
- Closing – Adhere to time limits. Be appreciative and offer to help them with their career in the future. Ask for referrals/recommendations based on what you have heard.
We offer a few final networking reminders:
- Make your meeting more of a conversation than an interview of your contact. Listen carefully to the contact’s answers, and ask thoughtful follow-up questions that show you are engaged in the conversation.
- Send personalized thank you notes.
- Track your networking conversations, including the person with whom you spoke, the date on which you spoke, what you spoke about/what you learned, next steps/action items, and your perceptions of the conversation.
- Set a plan for keeping in touch with your contact; you want to transform the conversation from a transaction into a relationship. Think about meaningful reasons to reach out to him/her in the future and ways you can help the contact.
Have you been admitted to business school? If so, do you want to get a head start on defining your career goals? Do you need help preparing for job interviews or learning how to effectively network with your target employers? Or maybe you want to be a top performer in your current role but are unsure how to maximize your potential. Let an mbaMission Career Coach help via a free 30-minute consultation!