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Monday, September 28, 2009

Review: A 6-Step Guide to Networking for First Year MBA Students

If you've read my blog from beginning to end you know of my love/hate relationship with networking; its downright schizophrenic. One minute, I'm bemoaning the seeming cronyism of it all; and the next minute, I'm telling you how to do it! Well, get ready to hop back on the roller coaster ride, 'cause. "[]Here [I] go again!" (Reagan, Ronald)... (for the record, I won't be quoting him a whole heck of a lot... so, enjoy it while you can Reaganites).

Anywho, at: Markwinburn's you can find all kinds of really cool posts, but to get to the one that I'm touting today, go to Markwinburn's "A 6-step-guide to Networking for First Year MBAs" . This is a great article, whether you are an MBA candidate; undergraduate; graduate student in a different field; or, even someone who is out of work, just looking for a way back in. Although I hate to admit it... you just have to do this crap... I ... I mean stuff.

When I was in school, there were all sorts of networking events, and I NEVER WENT TO THEM! I hated the fact that all of my school-mates were millionaires' kids, so I didn't want to spend a whole lot of time kissing up to them, or listening to their small-talk.

I also despised the fact that even our professors kissed up to them. (I'm gonna cross my fingers that I haven't told you this story already and press on...)

In the Fall of ... Jiminy Cricket!... I don't know how long ago now... I registered for an International Business course in my program. As usual, for small-sized courses, the first class started with the professor asking everyone to introduce themselves. These thirty-somethings each relayed stories like, "Hi. My name is Joe Millionaire, and I'm the Senior Director at XYZ Very Important Co. I'm here to hone my management & policy skills, and gain a greater expertise in my field... blah, blah, blah... etc., and on and on.... Meanwhile, as a twenty something recent graduate all I could say was something like, "Hi. I'm Jane Low-Life, and I just graduated from a really good college in which you wouldn't be caught dead. I've worked a lot of places, but sorry none of them were consulates, and sorry, I don't have a summer home in Greece, or Nice, or the United Arab Emirates... but don't let that weird you out too much." (O.K., I didn't say anything like that, but that's what I was thinking, in addition to, "Why do you have the job that you have with no graduate education in management? I just saw that job listed, and it specifically stated that you had to have a graduate degree!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" *

Anyway, these guys/girls all had family connections that got them into their jobs. But they still needed to get the relevant degree, and acquire new contacts to help keep it all going. My ego, and my desire to spend time with my own family and authentic and intrinsic relations kept me aloof, and afforded me little. Therefore, I recommend that you learn from my mistakes.

As advised in, "Mark Winburn’s posterous A collection of curiosities A Six Step Guide to Networking" linked above, go out and spend some time at networking events; make a networking plan to make a specific number of contacts during the span of a discrete period of time, and follow it.

I've done some minor baby steps for you. Below find a link to a variety of networking events on the East coast, West coast, and the Midwest. If none of these is convenient, simply type, "networking events in [insert your city]" into your search engine, and 'Git a goin! All right. Here we go:

Networking Events in New York

Networking Events in California

Networking Events in Chicago

So, why do I list two cities, and one state? The answer is... because IMHO there is only one MAJOR, MAJOR city on the East Coast, and in the Midwest, whereas CA has a lot of really important cities. Also, I know that you can do the footwork, these links are just posted here to inspire you to try it out right now.

Will I do it? Hmm... I don't know!!! My ego is really bruised, and I will admit that there are still a few aspects of these events that repulse me ; )

1) Some networking events seem more like singles' nights, especially when they take place in bars. If you're married, or even single, and just not interested in hooking up or being sized up by some other unemployed person, this may repel you as well.

2) I'm still not a big schmoozer; so, being in a room full of car salesman types doesn't appeal.

3) Most of the people attending these things DON'T HAVE JOBS... so, one wonders? How the... can they help you!

Ok, I'll take a crack at that last one.

They may have an inside track to a job for which they may not be qualified, but that is perfectly suitable to you.

If you make friends with other professionals they may be able to provide you with quality references that others (friends, family-members, former bosses co-workers) may not be able to provide.

People you meet in these environments may have fresh ideas that you have not considered; these may work well for you.

Finally, consider this, it is much more important to make friends with people when they are down, than it is to befriend them when they have something that you want. Be selfless now, and it should help you later. They may remember their meeting with you and how your information helped them to bridge the work gap.

All right.

I'll do it.

BUT I'M NOT GONNA LIKE IT!!! (The first person who offers me a Long Island iced-tea, and flashes a dorky smile is gonna catch a fork in the forehead.)
[*Did you notice the asterisk earlier? Yeah, well, that was to direct you to this footnote, where you'll discover that my story about that International Business course is a lot longer. You just got the abridged version. I'll post the rest in a bit.]


dannyd said...

It seems like this is a great blog, and I will follow it! Thanks for following me and voting on my poll, and I hope that you can read and comment on this post:

AJAB said...

Thanks dannyd!

I really enjoyed your blog earlier today. I started reading it from the bottom/beginning (Poor Clippy!... But you're right; his time had come.) Re: the funny thing is that I had just gone there and noticed the same thing a few weeks ago. I just skipped over to one of the major credit bureaus, and got my info there instead. But kudos to you for bringing it to everyone's attention.

Also, I'd be happy to read & comment on your merger post. (I must admit... I had started there, and I think that I am having a dumb day, because my brain couldn't handle it, which is why I started back at the beginning/bottom. But I'll stop being lazy, and try again ;)

A Jab At Work Poetry (Poetry about Work)

“Work” by AJA-B, 08/30/09

The life I live is full of Joy,
But fool of sadness have I been,
If rumblings uttered prove us coy,
Then, truth be told both where, and when,
Was once a pair that teetered then,
O’er brinks or hills,
That they could scarce,
Find liquid, bars of salt, but bills,
And toil, though notice paid none dare’st,
To sweat, and pack, and tape, and wrap,
To call, and quest, rebuffed for cost,
To drive five states, and back, for gas
Traverse, from here to there to drink,
While aching back, and sweat-soaked shirt,
Proved naught the laborers’ worth, but stink,
And why should hecklers, wreckers blurt,
And hurl insults until they hurt,
While hypocrites sit conditioned in,
Till out a pair sent all they’d earned,
To others seeking extra, win,
‘gainst those that taught themselves, and learned,
Volumes, nearly choked and burned,
As plumes of hate, and stacks of smoke,
Sparked flames, which brinksmanship, did stoke,
Hellacious fires that GOD awoke,
& Smote the devils’ flames whose’ fire,
Could not the heights of clouds aspire,
& Up the pair in now a shell,
found seeds to plant that vines did swell,
Fat, filling, fruit and tasty cheer,
Revealing teeth, “from ear to ear,”
Now brimming, happily forgiving, hope,
Refilling cranial stores to find,
Surviving, counts for little more than sustaining life, and wasting time.

Digressing now though more is there,
I advise you work, but ne’er care,
Hard work, and success are not the same,
But without the first you’ll reap the blame,
For being weak, and seeming lame,
To end I wish you all the best,
Catharsis exhausts, I needs must rest,
Good luck, “You’re hired” I hope you’ll find,
To ease your cares, and soothe your mind.

© 2009 AJA-B

A Jab at Work Survey

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