After a busy fall semester students are excited to have a holiday break. While it is great to have time with no homework to enjoy with family and friends, it is also a valuable opportunity for critical holiday networking. Students should have a strategy to maximize their holiday networking efforts.
At Northeastern’s D’Amore-McKim School of Business MBA Career Center, we work closely with our students to prepare them for successful holiday networking.
Employer Holiday Networking Event – We just hosted a holiday networking event for employers, alumni and students on campus. We spent the first hour in structured rounds of networking to help people make as many connections as possible in a short period of time. We then opened it up for more informal networking. The room was buzzing all evening long and valuable connections were made.
Insider Insights Sessions – Employers regularly join us on campus to present Insider Insights sessions to our students. These sessions give students an opportunity to learn more about the company, their hiring needs and the skills required for success. They also provide valuable networking connections for our students.
Leverage Family and Friends’ Connections – Use the holidays to explore your target list with family and friends. See who they know at your target companies. Check Linked In for alumni and former colleagues who may now work at these companies. As you socialize be sure to ask people where they work, you may identify a great connection for a further conversation.
Seek Informational Interviews – This is the perfect time of year (in most professions) to ask for an informational interview. Leave the accountants alone while the close the books for the year but others may have more flexibility to schedule an informational interview. Do your research in advance and have questions prepared so you can maximize the value of your time together.
Professional Association Events – While professional associations are always a great source of networking connections, many groups plan holiday social events. This is a great opportunity to gather with professionals who share a common interest, to expand your connections. Attend an event and see how many interesting people you can meet.
Enjoy the holiday spirit while expanding your professional network by taking advantage of great holiday networking opportunities.