Networking - How to Network in Business School

Networking Tips for Business School Students

Networking in Business School
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Realize the Benefits of Networking

Knowing how to network in business school is an important ability. Unfortunately, networking is a skill that does not come naturally to everyone. Some people are simply too shy; others consider networking pretentious, phony, or even manipulative. If you find yourself in one of these categories, you may want to start by making a list of the reasons why networking is important in your individual situation.

This will help you realize the many benefits of networking and may make it easier for you to customize a networking plan that complements your desired business school experience. 

Get to Know Your Classmates

Meeting and interacting with other business students is one of the many reasons why people attend business school. Some schools have a strong teamwork culture that encourages interaction among students inside and outside of class. However, this is not true of every school. You may have to make an additional effort to connect with your classmates. A few ways to do this include:

  • Start a study group or find a few study buddies.
  • Attend mixers that are held on and off campus.
  • Join clubs, associations, and other groups at your school.
  • Start a club, association, and or another type of group at your school.
  • Get involved with your school's student government.
  • Volunteer in your school's local community.
  • Attend alumni networking events.
  • Attend job fairs and other events hosted by career services.
  • Seek out students who attend your school but not any of your classes.

Seek Out People in Your Industry

It is essential that you network with people in your industry while you are in business school. Such people may include other students, alumni, faculty, current professionals, or corporate recruiters.

These are the people who can help you make additional connections that will be important to your career. They may also be able to help you get a job after graduation. You can meet people in your industry by attending industry events, meetings, and awards shows. You may also be able to expand your industry network at alumni mixers and other special events held on campus. 

Build Your Social Network Online

As important as it is to learn how to network on campus, the pull of the Internet can not be ignored. Everyday, billions of people use social networking sites to connect online. After crafting a few simple (and tasteful) profiles on these sites, you can meet and network with people around the world. Having an online network - particularly a global network - can be a very powerful thing. See a list of 10 places to network online to get started.

More Networking Tips for Business Students

  • Don't fear rejection and don't be afraid to strike up conversations with strangers.
  • Remember that networking is all about building quality relationships. Be kind, thoughtful, and genuine.
  • Give as much as you take - don't expect people to help you if you never help them.
  • Think of questions that you can ask others in advance so that you never feel tongue-tied.
  • Listen to people with sincere interest.
  • Order business cards and pass them out in appropriate situations.
  • Follow up with the new people you meet to increase your chances of being remembered.
  • Be yourself.

See more business networking tips.