What to Expect at Alumni Career Networking Night

By now you’ve heard that networking can give you an important edge in your job search. By attending Alumni Career Networking Night  you will have the opportunity to meet with Assumption alumni who work in a variety of career fields.

What is networking?

Remember that this event is not about getting a job right now. It is about building your professional network, getting to know different industries, and learning how other Assumption students have found success in their fields.

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Following up with people after the event is also a crucial part of networking. If you don’t maintain the relationship, it will not be as valuable. If you do stay in contact, though, you can to use your professional network to learn more about job and internship opportunities in their companies when the time comes.

How to Prepare for Alumni Career Networking Night

Review the list of alumni attending and research the companies they work for. Use this to set a goal for who you want to connect with. Knowing ahead of time which alumni you are most interested in speaking to during open networking will help keep you on track and come up with questions and talking points ahead of time.

Prepare your outfit the night before. The last thing you want is to realize that afternoon that your favorite blouse is missing or that there is a tear in your blazer. Remember, this is a professional networking event. You want to dress to impress. No jeans, no leggings, no boots, no sneakers, etc. If you question whether or not you should wear it, the answer is probably no. When in doubt, go more professional than casual.

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What to do at Alumni Career Networking Night

The night will open with a guest speaker. Once she has finished, you will begin your first round of networking. Based on the career interests you indicated when signing up, you will already have a table assigned to you. Your table will consist of 1-2 alumni and 7-9 students. During your time at the table, listen to what the alumni have to say and be sure to ask questions. Again, this is not a job interview. You want to get to know what the alumni have to share about their industries and experiences. As they answer, feel free to take notes. This will give you some direction for conversation during open networking time and will help you keep track of what you learn.

When time is up you will move along to the next table, then to a third. When the formal networking portion is over, you will have time to do some open networking. At this point, you may choose to talk further with alumni that you’ve already met or go speak with alumni who you weren’t seated with. As in any professional situation, make sure to introduce yourself, stand/sit up straight, and offer a firm handshake.

Make sure that throughout the night you collect alumni’s contact information. If they have business cards, great! If not, there will be pens and paper at each table so you can exchange information. After the event, reach out to them via email or LinkedIn. This will keep the lines of communication open so you can truly build a professional relationship.

You do not need to have business cards or anything of the like for this event. If someone wants your information, just write it down for them.

Any More Questions?

The more prepared you are, the more comfortable you will be. Have more questions about what to expect/do at Alumni Career Networking Night? Want to make sure the outfit you’ve chosen is appropriate? Want to practice introducing yourself as you will at the event? There will be open drop-in hours at the CDIC (Alumni 026) on Monday & Tuesday 2:00 – 4:00 and Wednesday & Thursday 10:30-12:30. We are happy to answer any questions you have to make sure you feel confident going into this event.

 

By Beth Teague
Beth Teague Graduate Assistant Beth Teague