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1 Minute Toolkit: 5 Things You Can't Go Without When Networking

Whether you’re exploring possibilities for your first post-graduation job or hoping to snag a summer internship, networking matters. Networking is so much more than passing out business cards – it’s an opportunity to make a lasting impression on other professionals, discover job leads and establish valuable connections in your field.

To make the most of your next event, don’t leave these five things at home:

#1. Your most appropriate attire. Clothing plays an undeniable role in forming positive first impressions. Consider the culture of your field and the nature of the event before choosing your outfit. Whether a conservative suit or business-casual would be more advisable for your particular industry, wear something that is clean, practical and professional.

#2. Your elevator pitch. This is the concise, compelling introduction that you should be prepared to make at networking events, during interviews or in similar settings. A good pitch focuses on quickly and effectively describing who you are, what you do and what your goals are.

#3. Business cards. We mentioned that networking involves more than distributing business cards – but they are crucial for cementing introductions and encouraging follow-up. Always bring more business cards than you think you’ll need and carry them somewhere safe and within reach – such as in a card case – to avoid searching through your bag or handing out worn-down cards.

#4. A pen. After mingling, find a quiet space to make notes on the back of the business cards you’ve collected. Note key details of your conversation and any follow-up you plan to do. Noting details from your initial conversation in your follow-up message will trigger the recipient’s memory and make the communication personalized and thoughtful.

#5. A plan. Show up at the event with a goal or set of specific desired outcomes, such as meeting three new people in your field or learning about one job lead. While casual socializing is an important part of networking, having a plan will make you feel more confident and purposeful about approaching new people in order to meet your personal goals.

Keep in mind that networking is an important part of the job search process, especially in the ever-changing global job market. For students in programs such as our Accelerated MA , Brandeis International Business School (IBS) provides exclusive networking opportunities with company representatives and alumni to keep graduates competitive in the job market. Priority deadline for the Accelerated MA is March 15th. 

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