How to be a Networking Superstar

Let’s be honest. For most of us, especially us introverts, networking events have just about as much appeal as giving a presentation to a 300+ student audience about a topic we don’t even like nor know much about . . . while in our underwear. But it doesn’t have to be that way. With the right preparation and a little bit of practice, networking events can feel as natural as making friends. Because that’s all it really is. Networking events isn’t so much about a high-stakes battlefield to find you that job or summer internship, but rather it is about building relationships.

As always, I think How to Adult did a wonderful job on summing up the main tips and points of networking in their newly released video “10 Simple Tips to Be a Networking Superstar.” Check it out when you get the chance, but remember, there’s no better teacher than experience. Get out there and test out those newly acquired networking skills. You never know where they might take you.

Spring Break Reading

It’s just about Spring Break! Do you have any plans for next week? How about taking some books with you while sun tanning on the beach?

Here is a list of some of my top five books for a Spring Reading List to motivate you to get through the last half of the semester and build your professional skills and career aspirations.

1. Build Your Dreams: How to Make a Living Doing What You Love by Alexis Irving and Chip Hiden

Full of practical exercises geared specifically for 20-somethings, this book helps you figure out just what your passions are, and connects them to a realizable goal. Then it takes you through an easy five stage process on how to achieve your career aspirations.

2. Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Won’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain

An essential book for introverts or extroverts who are trying to better understand how introverts tick. Through exploring several different case studies, it helps you better understand your behavior and mental patterns, empowers you to use your own style of leadership, and makes you feel more justified and proud as an introvert, despite years of being teased about your “shyness” or “anti-socialness.”

3. The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss

This book challenges the way we think about work, retirement, and money. The most useful part of the book was the guidance on dream-lining, or evaluating the cost and availability of my dreams and breaking them into more manageable steps to accomplish them.

4. Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg

A great book for women about combining professional development with person fulfillment. Drawing on personal examples, Sandberg provides great advice for a variety of topics as well as a blueprint for individual growth.

5. The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg

The key to breaking bad habits and establishing good ones is by understanding the habit-formation process. Duhigg explains the scientific process behind individuals, organizations, and societies forming their own habits.

CDI Reflection: Katie Crow

I realized early on, when I asked my parents to help me create my first resume when I was applying for college and they looked back at me with confused, blank faces, that I was going to have to go solo in my professional development. This was an area that I could not rely on my parents anymore, because the industries they worked were so different from the ones that interested me. I fumbled through my first part-time job applications and networking events with very little grace, not quite knowing how to comport myself in professional situations, because it was nothing that I had ever been taught in school before.

Come the end of my junior year, I was beginning to feel incredibly anxious about the future, because I still felt as though I didn’t know the first thing about finding and obtaining a career. So I resolved to use my senior year to really focus on and hone my professional development. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in college, it’s this. I learn best when I have to teach others. Therefore, applying for the Career Development Internship program was the most logical choice to build my business skills.

By coaching other students during Walk-Ins and Career Center events, I’ve become more confident in my own business professionalism. Through the many resume critiques, I’ve noticed common pitfalls and have avoided them in order to create the most attractive resume possible. By giving advice to seniors about how to act during the Career Fair, I was able to work my way confidently to all of my companies of interest without breaking a sweat. And by going over common interview questions and situations with students, I was able to give very polished answers during my own interviews, to the point where one of the interviewers paused the interview to praise me for my “natural leadership skills” and said that he sincerely hoped I would consider working there, because he saw a lot of potential in me.

And I say these things not to brag, but to give credit where credit is due. This year, I received several generous job offers, and I have a job that I love immediately after graduation. And I firmly believe it’s because of my internship at the Career Center. Because they trained me in business professionalism skills, because they provided a nurturing and supportive environment through the job application process, and because I was able to apply my career-related knowledge every day by working with students. I highly recommend this internship to everyone, especially those who, like me, want to enhance their own professional development.

Want to learn more about the internship? Find more information here.

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