The term ‘networking’ is an MBA jargon often thrown around loosely and frequently but poorly understood. Networking is the process of building and maintaining relationships with people for personal or professional gain — one of the main benefits of MBA programs.
Networking can involve meeting new people, nurturing existing relationships, and exchanging information, advice, and support. And it can take place in a variety of settings, such as at work, through professional associations, at social events, or through online channels. The goal of networking is to create a network of individuals who can provide support, resources, and opportunities that can help advance one’s personal and professional goals.
Why should I network while studying for an MBA?
Networking is an important aspect of an MBA program for several reasons:
- Better career opportunities: Networking can help you build relationships with alumni, industry professionals, and classmates who can provide job leads, advice, and support throughout your career.
- Industry insights: Networking provides opportunities to learn about different industries and careers and can help you make informed decisions about your career path.
- Professional development: Networking helps you develop professional skills, such as communication, leadership, and negotiation, by allowing you to engage with and learn from others in your network.
- Personal growth: Networking provides opportunities to connect with individuals from diverse backgrounds and experiences, which can lead to personal growth and a better understanding of the world.
- Access to resources: Networking can provide access to resources such as job openings, mentorship opportunities, and valuable information about your desired industry.
Building a strong network during your MBA course can benefit you for years to come. The network of connections you make during your MBA days can help you find the right resources and talent to get a job or start your own business. It helps you connect with the right people.
How do I start networking while doing MBA?
Here are some MBA networking tips you ought to keep in mind:
- Start early: Networking should not be limited to your time in business school. Start building relationships and connecting with people before you even begin your MBA program.
- Find common grounds: Your MBA course will likely bring together a diverse group of individuals with different backgrounds and experiences. Take advantage of this opportunity to find common ideas and goals and use this to connect with and learn from your classmates.
- Attend events: MBA programs typically host events where students can network with alumni, professors, and industry professionals. These events are great opportunities to meet people and expand your network.
- Be genuine: Networking should not be about collecting business cards, but rather about building genuine relationships. Be yourself and show a genuine interest in others.
- Follow up: After meeting someone, make sure to follow up with them. A simple email or LinkedIn message can help maintain the connection and potentially lead to future opportunities.
- Give back: As you advance in your career, don’t forget to give back by helping others in your network. This can lead to valuable connections and strengthen your community standing.
How do I start making connections in an MBA college?
Overall, networking is about building relationships and creating opportunities for growth, both professionally and personally. The long-term importance of networking in an MBA cannot be denied.
Making connections in an MBA program involves taking advantage of opportunities to meet and interact with people. Here are some strategies for making connections:
- Stay aware of meet and greet opportunities: MBA colleges host many opportunities such as guest speaker presentations, networking events, and club activities. These events provide opportunities to meet alumni, industry professionals, and classmates.
- Participate in class discussions: Participate actively in class discussions, allowing you to build relationships with classmates and engage with course material.
- Join clubs: Join clubs or organisations related to your interests, as these provide opportunities to connect with like-minded individuals.
- Volunteer: Volunteer for leadership roles within your clubs, or for events and initiatives organised by the MBA program. This allows you to develop leadership skills and make connections with a wider range of people.
- Utilise technology: Leverage technology, such as LinkedIn, to connect with classmates, alumni, and professionals in your desired industry.
- Follow up: After meeting someone, make sure to follow up with them by sending a LinkedIn connection request or an email. This helps maintain the connection and can lead to future opportunities.
- Be yourself: Authenticity is key in building relationships. Be yourself, and show a genuine interest in others. This can lead to meaningful connections and opportunities.
Remember, building connections takes time and effort. Don’t be afraid to step outside your comfort zone and make the first move in initiating a conversation or connection.
Staying connected to the alumni network even after completing your MBA degree
Contributing to your school’s network after completing your MBA can benefit both you and your school and is one of the most crucial MBA networking tips. Here are some ways to contribute:
- Mentorship: Consider becoming a mentor to current MBA students. This can provide valuable career insights and advice to students while also allowing you to expand your network.
- Alumni events: Attend alumni events and participate in alumni initiatives. This helps you stay connected with the school and its network.
- Career events: Participate in career events the school hosts, such as career fairs and networking events. This provides opportunities to connect with current students and other alumni while also supporting the school’s mission to provide career resources to students.
- Donations: Consider donating to the school or its programs. This can provide resources and opportunities for current students and support the school’s overall mission.
- Sharing expertise: Share your knowledge and expertise with students through guest speaking engagements or by participating in workshops or panels. This helps provide valuable insights and can help you expand your own network.
Stay connected with the school and its network sdasrinagar through LinkedIn, email, and social media channels. This helps maintain the connection and can lead to future opportunities. Remember, your contributions to the school network can help build and strengthen the community while also providing valuable opportunities for personal and professional growth.
Hope this article helped you understand the basics and importance of networking in MBA. The benefits of MBA networking can help you form lasting connections that will support you throughout your career. In the very same way, getting your MBA degree from a Sunstone-powered college makes you a part of Sunstone’s vast alumni network that will provide you with lifelong career support and a bundle of opportunities.