Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Its all about Networking.

When looking for a proper definition of the word "networking" (according to Google) there are 3 definitions: Computer, Social and Business.  I want to focus around the term Business.

Business Networking
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
is a socioeconomic activity by which groups of like-minded businesspeople recognise, create, or act upon business opportunities.

I look back on when we (students of the School of Business at St. Lawrence College) boarded that 7am bus departing for the 2011 World Business Form, and I really don't think I was aware just how big of an opportunity this would be. With its destination set on NYC, I still remember trying to sleep off a really bad head cold and dreaming of the lights of time square. The World Business Form was the first and largest conference I had ever attended. You had everyone from speakers Bill Clinton,  Howard Schultz, Angela Ahrendts, and Seth Godin to attendees such as Google. COME ON PEOPLE. They may be the main point to the entire event, but what happens down in the lunch room is where things happen. I remember thinking, there is no way a group of business students will ever get to eat in the same room as these top notch business executives and ceo's or even get a chance to talk to them. There were approximately "1,500 companies, 5,000 attendees, 65 countries " crazy. But we did just that - well sort of. We got to sit down and interview one on one with guys like Seth Godin and Michael Liebreich.

I have gone to networking mixers and talked about interests with actual business professionals, but in 2011, NYC took that experience to a whole new level. I guess my point here is to always just jump in with both feet - no matter how small you may feel in a situation so big around you, embrace it and act like you deserve to be there.

I can say, that in the 3 years of studying Advertising and Marketing all of my professors have almost been “that guy” who repeats everything over and over again. Their message: “Networking is COOL”. I can say that my visit to NewYork City which lead into one of the biggest interviews to date, couldn’t make their message any more true. As soon as I returned to Canada, I felt it was extremely necessary to say thank you.


Good afternoon Michael.
I would like to take the time to thank you for sitting down to answer some questions with myself and my partner Ian. As we have arrived back into our studies, we have certainly shared our insights from both our interview with yourself and overall experience at the 2011 World Business Forum.
Once again,
Thank you so much for your time.
Monique Gatien a 3rd year Advertising and Integrated Marketing Communications Student from
St. Lawrence College, Kingston Ont. Canada

– Within 24 hours, I went back into my inbox and spotted 1 new message. It read:

It was a pleasure meeting you and Ian, and I hope it was useful for you.
Regards,
Michael

Even though his reply was very brief, my point is that by creating conversation (or networking) with other attendees at an event: live conferences, social gatherings – you never know who’s business card you will walk away with. So yes, networking IS cool.

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