Networking is not a dirty word

Posted on March 29,2013 by msppjen

What a busy week! I've been working hard and playing hard and this past week has been no exception!

After work on Wednesday night, I went to MSPP for the Organizational and Leadership Psychology Spring Reception. We had a presentation from Becky Smith, an alum from the MAOP blended program, on leveraging relationships for career transition. As a recent grad looking to make that transition, I found it really helpful.

The number one lesson that I got from her presentation is: don't be afraid of networking! Of course, Becky had a little more to say on it- like accepting that not every person you meet will be a useful connection or even someone that you really connect with. However, when you do make a meaningful connection with someone, it can really pay off! Becky also stressed the importance of being authentic and the simple act of treating people like humans, not as a step on your way to a job. Personally, I think that those are two things that make "networking" such a bad word. We think of those people just trying to shove cards into everyone's pockets and trying to see how you can be useful to them. But it doesn't have to be like that! Just getting to know someone and helping each other out when you can gets rid of that stigma and everyone wins in the end!

We also had really good round-table discussions after Becky's presentation and it was nice to connect with my classmates, prospective students, other alumni, and faculty. In fact, I met one of my classmates in person for the first time ever that night! After the reception, a few of us went out and celebrated our completion of the MAOP program and talked about what we want to do going forward. It's exciting to think that my classmates will soon become my colleagues working in the field.

I'm looking forward to putting Becky's tips to use and making that happen!