Hosted by the Career Center, the Student Activities Council, and the Alumni Association, the Speed Networking Event provides an opportunity for students to prepare themselves for the world of work by networking and learning how to access the hidden job market. During this event, students practice networking skills/introductions and learn from about 30 networking mentors, composed of alumni and local professionals from a variety of career fields.
Frequently asked questions
Following are questions and answers that will help you prepare for the Speed Networking Event.
Why is networking important?
According to LinkedIn's global research (2017), "70 percent of people in 2016 were hired at a company where they had a connection." Some studies show that 80 – 85 percent of job openings are not posted. Individuals who have developed a professional network job search more effectively and gain access to the hidden job market.
Sometimes, talking to strangers makes me nervous. What can I do to overcome this discomfort?
It is important to remember that people are people. The mentors that will attend this event are regular people here to help you improve your networking skills. So, relax and make sure that you practice your 30-second commercial and have questions prepared to ask each mentor.
What should I wear to the Speed Networking Event?
For this and other networking events, dress and present yourself in a professional manner. This could be business attire such as a suit (and tie), or business casual such as dress slacks with a professional shirt, or khakis with a nice polo; women could also wear professional or business casual slacks, skirt, or dress.
What are some examples of questions that I might ask during Speed Networking Event?
To help guide conversation, following are a few examples of questions that you could ask:
- What field/industry do you work in?
- What are some pros and cons to working in that industry?
- How did you break into your line of work?
- Given my career interests, what advice might you provide to help me become successful?
- What can I do as a student to build and maintain my professional network?
- What tips do you have for the job search process?
What should I bring to the Speed Networking Event?
You may bring a portfolio (or professional folder) to hold your business cards, notepaper, writing utensils, and copies of your resume.
I’ve made the perfect contact at the Speed Networking Event, so now what?
If you meet someone that you’d like to stay connected with, be sure to ask for a business card. (This way, you will have their contact information so that you may connect with them through LinkedIn—or even stay in touch on a regular basis.)
Within 24 hours of the event, send a follow-up email, perhaps expressing your appreciation for their time or advice, your interest in their career field and your desire to stay connected. Note, however, that effective networking involves maintaining your professional connections—even months after the networking event.