GREady: Get Ready for Graduate School

Do you want to attend graduate school? If the answer is yes, shift the gear in drive. This blog will help you 1) stay informed about graduate programs, 2) decide on graduate schools, 3) apply for graduate schools (including the GRE and personal statements), 4) prepare for interviews, 5) find funding and lots more. Although this site cannot guarantee a masters or doctoral position, it does promise that you will be a very competitive candidate for your desired program!

Monday, June 26, 2006

Networking 101

The University of Chicago’s Graduate School of Business is instructing its students in the “Art of Schmoozing.” The networking lectures include cocktail hours, formal dinners, mock receptions and theme parties. The University of Chicago suggests that all business students devote 10 hours per week making contacts and practice interacting in the above social settings. Although networking is an integral part to succeeding in business, I believe that all graduate and professional school students can benefit from schmoozing. Networking is essential if you wish to apply for grant money or climb the social ladder. Carlos Ontenda, a business school student at the University of Chicago, states that networking is an investment in your future career. Here are a few hints to get you started at building your own professional network:

12 Steps to Easy Networking:

1) Before introducing yourself to anyone, make sure that you have a planned 10 second introduction scheme. This is sometimes referred to as the “elevator pitch.”

2) Work on a firm but not bone crunching handshake. Click here to learn how to execute the All American Handshake.

3) Be passionate about your end goals but do not be overly aggressive. Aggressiveness turns people off.

4) If you are in a networking function, do not talk to any one person more than 8 minutes. Remember the key is to make as many connections as you possible can.

5) Have business cards and résumé. When you come across a person you would like to add to your professional network be sure to hand out your business cards (add e-mail address to the back of them) and your résumé. Also, ask that person if he/she has a business card you could have.

6) Donate 1 -2 hours per week networking. Although the University of Chicago advises that students spend 10 hours/week networking, most of us do not have that kind of time to devote to schmoozing. 1-2 hours should be sufficient enough to create or maintain 1-3 connections. Use the time to research people in your academic field or to meet new faculty/staff within your department.

7) Eat early. This way you will have more time to talk and network.

8) Stand near the food to meet people. People tend to accumulate near food so your best chance to network with the most people is to simply stay where the food is.

9) Know who the leaders are. At networking functions, ask at the information desk for a list of the companies and leaders who will be attending. Be sure to meet with all of these people.

10) The key is listening. Listen 80% of the time and talk 20%. This way you will learn more about your future connection.

11) Write a letter to your new connections. Mention what you discussed with that person to jog his/her memory of who you are.

12) Maintain the connection. Send letters, birthday cards, holiday cards, call them…do whatever you need to do to keep your professional network happy and stable.

To Learn More About Networking, Click On the Following Sites:

"The Art of Schmooze"


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