10 Questions You Must Ask at Networking Night

10 Questions You Must Ask at Networking Night
silhouete of handshake

When given the opportunity to interact with professionals to solicit career advice, you want to approach them with a plan.  At Thursday’s Student-Athlete Networking Night event, there will be representatives from approximately 30 companies willing and available to give insight into their companies, industries, and personal career stories.  I encourage you to take advantage of this networking opportunity because the benefits could be enormous.

Our Athletics Department staff understands the importance of building your professional network now, when you don’t actually need.  Make your connections and cultivate them while finishing school, then you will have strong foundation to start looking for that first job.

Here are few tips for the event:

  • Attend the event knowing what you want to get out of it.  Know which companies will be in attendance then make your game plan.
  • Create a professional email address (not SexyBuff45@pimpmail.com).
  • Create a professional web presence with an about.me account – view mine at http://about.me/coreysinbox  
  • Dress professionally, act professionally, speak professionally. Be a professional.
  • When you speak about yourself, keep it simple – sport/event(s), class, major, hometown, career aspirations.  Remember, you’re there to learn from them, not the other way around.
  • Make sure you move around the room at the event. Don’t get tied down talking to one person for an extended period of time.  Your time is valuable and limited. Make sure you maximize the amount of quality contacts you make with the business professionals.
  • If you get a business card or contact information from a professional, be sure to send them a thank you note or email.
  • Finally, practice your  questions in advance so you’re not fumbling over your words when you’re visiting with professionals.  Below are the ten questions you must be prepared to ask . . . 
10 Questions You Must Ask at Networking Night

  1. How did you choose this career field?
  2. What did you do to prepare for this career? How have past jobs lead you to your next position?
  3. How do you spend a typical workday? Work week?
  4. What skills or talents are required in this job and/or field?
  5. What is the outlook for your field? Is it growing? If so, in what ways?
  6. Are there any professional associations and journals that you would recommend?
  7. After you have shared a little about yourself, ask the following question: Given my background, which positions would I be best suited for?
  8. How do people find out about jobs in your field?
  9. How do most people enter your profession?
  10. What final advice would you give me if I wanted to be successful in your line of work?

Here is a great video with more networking tips from Hank Blank.

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