By Anthony Saltarelli ’18, Nerelly Checo ’18
On Monday, September 14, the Center for Career Development hosted a Senior Alumni Networking Event with guest speaker, Jodi Smith. For those of you who could not make it, here are 8 memorable takeaways:
Always have a conversation starter ready.
• Jodi referred to this as a “snippet”. It’s a short, unique sentence about yourself, which provokes further conversation. For example: “Hi I’m Alex and I just launched my first iPhone app!”
Give a firm handshake.
• Always remember that anything more than three shakes is considered creepy and maintain eye contact during the handshake. The tip to having a firm handshake is making sure that the web between your thumb and index finger is also touching their web.
Looking to make an exit from a conversation? Avoid saying “Excuse me, I’m going to the bathroom”.
• Nobody needs to know that you’re going to to the bathroom. In addition, saying “Excuse me, I’m going to get another drink” may cause the person to follow you or ask you for a drink. Simply saying “excuse me” is sufficient enough.
Be a lion going for the wildebeest. Circle them and pick who interests you the most.
Do your homework before arriving to the networking event.
• Know the dress code, whether food will be served, who is going to be at the event, modes of transportation and length of trip, availability of parking, etc.
• Make sure to know the rank of whoever you are speaking to — you wouldn’t want to be caught talking poorly about the CEO to the CEO!
Always wear your name tag on your right side.
• Place your name tag closer to your shoulder. When you shake someone’s hand, you always use your right arm. Therefore, naturally, the other person’s eyes will follow your arm right up to your name tag.
End the conversation gracefully.
• Jodi emphasized two things in terms of ending a conversation. It is important to always ask for a business card because this is your way of maintaining a connection with them outside of the event. She recommends that upon arriving home, you should write the date, who this person is and what was discussed with this person. This ensures that you can write an email or handwritten note to the person that includes details that shows you remember them (it also helps them remember you so it’s a win-win situation).
• As humans, sometimes our memory fails us. Watch out for ending the conversation with the common phrase “It was a pleasure to meet you”. You may have met the person in the past before and simply forgotten. Avoid embarrassing moments like these by simply saying “it was a pleasure speaking with you”.
Always follow up!
• Regardless of whether the person holds a job in an industry or workplace that specifically interests you, you don’t know who their connections may be.