Networking. It’s this bizarre word that describes so much of what we do at business school – socially and professionally, actively or subconsciously – but no one really likes the word, or the connotation that comes with it.
It doesn’t all have to be bad, but business school doesn’t teach you a lot about how to do it. But the truth is, building your network is critical to your success and your happiness as an MBA. And the one thing they certainly don’t tell you at the Career Management Center is that you should start networking the day you find out you’ve been accepted to business school.
Here are some reasons to start networking now:
People will believe that you are serious about their industry. Especially for those students who are looking to transition to a new career, start informational interviews before starting school, or very early on in the first term. It shows commitment to the industry, and it shows that you know what you want.
Also, it’s a way to differentiate yourself – you don’t want to be the twelfth person who asks someone for an informational interview during a heavy recruiting cycle – it will be obvious what you want, and it will be difficult to differentiate yourself from your peers. As they say, to be memorable, you want to be the first interview, or the last one.
You can avoid the networking semi-circle of doom. Continue reading