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How to get the most out of networking

University struggles to highlight the importance of business relationships and it can be easy to get caught up in the stresses of assignments and exams (as well as managing every other part of your life) without any thought to future employment.

Networking is a vital element in getting employment once you have finished your degree, whether you are a postgraduate or undergraduate student. Below are a few tips that will help you to get the most out of your networking experiences.

Seek relationships

Networking isn’t just about meeting people and trying to create a deal that works out well for both parties. Work to build a proper relationship with the people you meet so that there is a level of genuine care and it becomes a two way relationship.

It’s a great way to develop your communication and other social skills in a challenging environment but it will teach you that it is a lot easier than it may seem.

Be genuine

There can be a temptation to try and be something that you are not when at a networking event. It may feel forced or you may be a little bit nervous and think that you must be this perfect person for the professionals to like you.

Ultimately this isn’t the case as they are people just like you. Be honest with them and show your real self because this is likely to be far more sustainable and valuable in the long run.

Remain open-minded

The important thing at a network event is to be flexible. It is impossible to know what you will find and you don’t want to miss out on any valuable opportunities. Of course, you want to go in with a plan so that you can get to the point with the relevant people but it is important not to close yourself off from new ideas or approaches.

Indulge in the conversation

Whilst you may know exactly what you want to get out of any given networking even, in line with the above, stay open minded and fully engage in the conversation. Work into it and show a genuine passion for a given topic as this will make you appear interested and also eager to learn by asking lots of relevant questions. Do the same when being asked questions and provide detail starting from the top and expanding.

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