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Working the Room

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Heather Krasna

on 31 October 2014

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Transcript of Working the Room

The Art of Schmooze: Networking 101
Networking Events:
Set Reasonable Goals
Meet 3 new people
Learn about a new field
Build some confidence
Practice your handshake
Networking Event Don'ts:
Only talk to people you already know
Only talk about yourself
Try outright to get a job/handout resumes (it's not a job fair)
Look over the person's shoulder whom you're speaking with
Bring up overly political, religious or personal topics (it's a professional, not pure social event)
Comment on someone's physical appearance
Drink too much!
The Networking Mindset
Be a "go-giver"
Find commonalities
Be sincerely interested in others
Ask good questions

Breaking the Ice
Smile, eye contact
"Hi, I'm ____, what's your name?"
"Where are you from?"
"When did you graduate/what did you study?"
"What do you think of the event?"
Your 20-second intro
Keeping the Conversation Going
What did you like the most about being a student at the Mailman School?
What do you do now?
What do you like about what you do?
What are some of the things you are passionate about? What are your goals?
I heard your organization works on _______. What do you think of that?
What do you think of (____ news item)?
Inserting Yourself Into an Existing Circle
Listen, observe
Is it a very private discussion?
Can you add something?
Is body language open?
Add an item when there is a break in the discussion--then shake hands, introduce yourself
Open the circle: introduce yourself to the next person & introduce others
Closing the Conversation/Exiting
"It was great chatting with you....
"Do you happen to have a business card? I'd love to follow up with you later."
"I see another friend I wanted to connect with... but I'll talk you later."
"I should move on, but let's stay in touch."
End with handshake and smile
Make a note on their business card regarding follow-up items
After the Event
Send a follow-up email
Thank the person
Ask for a follow-up conversation
Connect on LinkedIn
Find ways to stay in touch
Ask for referrals; stay remembered for future opportunities
20-Second Intro Example
"Hi, I'm Jane Doe, and I'm a first-year MPH student studying Environmental Health Sciences. For undergrad I went to UC Berkeley where I studied biology, and since I moved to New York, I have been working as a research assistant on a study of asthma in children in the Bronx. I'm really interested in learning more about public health career pathways, especially research-oriented careers."
Informational Interviews
Connecting on LinkedIn
How to Send a Connect Request
What connections do you have in common?
What groups?
Who can/should introduce you?
Hit "Connect"
"Get Introduced"

Connect Request Message
Dear Jane,
It was great meeting you today at the Mailman School mixer. You might recall we talked about the Obesity article in the NY Times. I would love to connect if you are open to that.
Thank you for your consideration.

Sally Student
1. Research
2. Referrals (to new people)
3. Read/revise your resume.
4. Be remembered (and referred for jobs).
from "The Savvy Networker" by Krannich
Informational Interview Request Message
Thank you note
Leveraging Your Network
What is Networking?
The art of building mutually beneficial relationships with professionals in your chosen field.
Places to find contacts
Alumni Databases: CareerLink "Alumni Network" and Recent Graduates Database
Job fairs
Friends, family
Professional Associations
Alumni groups
LinkedIn (Linkedin.com/alumni)
Goals of Networking
To be the first person who comes to mind
jobs are posted;
To have a community of people who will
jobs to you and
you for jobs, increasing the odds of job interviews;
To have the "inside scoop" on organizations of interest; to be the best-informed candidate in job interviews;
To help career decision-making
Plant your seeds before you harvest; give before you ask.
Don't ask strangers to get you a job.
Play the student card.
Leverage commonalities and introductions.
Be *extremely* grateful & gracious.
Do not dismiss anyone as irrelevant
Do not leave networking to a mere chance (be proactive).
Show up on time. Do your homework.
Send a thank-you note.
Be interested in the other person. Let them talk.
Networking is NORMAL.
Rejection will happen too.
Etiquette & Rules
Before the event
Business casual/formal attire; grooming; breath mints
Read the news and current events in the field
Bring business cards
Fill out a name tag with name, class year, department
Maintain your relationships
Be helpful to others
Ask your contacts to keep an eye out for you for jobs
Ask for introductions
Ask if you can use their name in your cover letter when applying
When you land the job--THANK your network!
Dear _____:
I am a recent graduate of the Mailman School of Public Health, and I got your name through Professor Jane Smith, who mentioned that you would
be a perfect person for me to speak to about a career in healthcare finance because of your expertise in the field.

In June, I received my Master of Public Health with a specialization in Healthcare Management. My goal is to apply this degree along with the experiences acquired through internships in two hospitals, as well as my thesis research on the Affordable Care Act, to obtain a position in healthcare finance. I am hopeful you would be willing to speak with me, either in person or over the phone for 20-30 minutes to hear about your Mailman School and professional career experience. I am particularly interested in hearing about what you do at XYZ Health Finance Agency, how you got there, and if you have any
advice for someone looking to enter this field.

My schedule is flexible, and I am happy to work around your availability to meet in the next two weeks. I can be reached at 917-998-0000 or interested.student@columbia.edu. Thank you in advance for your time, and I look forward to speaking with you soon.

Interested Student

Dear _____:
Thank you so much for taking time from your busy schedule to meet with me yesterday. It was a pleasure to meet you and I found our conversation to be one of the most helpful I've had in months!

Based on our conversation, it became clear to me that my skills in program development, strategic management, infectious disease epidemiology, and conflict management will be useful for me to highlight as I look for work in this area. It was helpful to hear that I need to gain fieldwork experience in my region of interest in order to elevate my candidacy in the eyes of a potential employer, and that grant proposal development is a big piece of the work that I may be called upon to do.

I truly appreciate your encouragement of my career plans, and I'll follow up with you about your possible introduction to Bill Smith at XYZ Inc., in a separate email. Please never hesitate to ask if there is any way I can help you. In the meantime, should you wish to contact me, I can be reached at 917-998-0000 or at grateful@columbia.edu.

Grateful Student
People who never respond
People who are somewhat helpful
Job Angels
The Bell Curve of Networking Contacts
Staying in Touch
Once every few months, send:
A brief update on your progress in school or career; and a question about how they are doing
An article you've read that your contact would be interested in
A grant opportunity
An upcoming event
Season's or birthday greetings
Line shifts to right with higher-level people or competitive companies
Full transcript