Dr. Ivan Misner, the Founder & Chairman of BNI, the world’s largest business networking organization once said, “Networking is more about ‘farming’ than ‘hunting’. It is about cultivating relationships”. This analogy has beautifully potted the whole concept of networking.
When we say networking is important, we are stating the obvious. Some introvert class of people may give a reasoning against it, but they too realize this fact from deep within.
Times may have changed but the importance of establishing a mutual-beneficial interactive group has never been degraded. In fact, the present young generation totally hinges on networking. They have access to almost everything, be it founding the long-forgotten friends, contacting higher authorities, putting their opinions before a mass, and a platform to talk and meet people.
The inclusion of professional courses like MBA, in the educational system, has promoted the need for building a people’s network right from the beginning of the course study. Pursuing a person, we know, so that he/she could introduce us to more of his acquaintances, is what we call a networking.
Why is it important to set up a network during your MBA program?
Since the time when our parents were into their own education and employment, the world has a diverse face now. It is undeniable that in this age of the internet and technology, people have more expectations from each other, especially in terms of knowledge and career. Networking, while studying MBA hold importance for:
Enriching knowledge base
The career field for MBA graduates is extensive in nature. It has multiple domains like marketing, human resource management, logistics management, and many more. The only key to build a successful career in these domains is more and more knowledge because practically, your common understanding will help you more in the workplace than the bookish principles and theories. Meeting the right people, from various fields of knowledge and work will enrich your mental dictionary and will prepare you for the real workplace challenges.
Understanding how the business world works
By now you must have realised that companies expect that you should have some degree of understanding of how the work is being done in an office. They need you to be aware of the challenging expectations of your seniors, colleagues, and clients. Reading the case study in a book may help you in this regard but nothing can beat the quality of understanding you may get if you open yourself for building a personal-professional network.
According to a survey, it was proved that around 50-60% of MBA graduates earned their jobs via networking. This happens when you are always people-ready and have a personality to listen & make others understand your potential.
Building a support group
Every person in your life matters. This is not philosophical but practical. The personal and professional links build during MBA programme, with your friends, teachers, seminar’s guests, students from different colleges, your father’s businessman uncle and his son, steadily create a support group. You can refer them anytime in future if you are good in creating & managing the relationship.
Building a network with people who are professionally settled does not only help you in gaining job opportunities but to become a professional yourself. This community will teach you a broader perspective of life and helps you in making decisions regarding your future aspirations. Employee referral is still a popular method of recruitment in every company. Your professional socializing can earn you some loyalty points.
Best ways to establish networking
Building contacts can be a more nervous task than you expect. You are ready to initiate but what is the best way. Though, this depends upon the accessibility of the approached contact, here are some workable ways to establish first, and all further conversations:
- Emails are considered as a best professional way of networking since it gives the approached person an ease to reply you at his convenience.
- Fresher’s party in the colleges are organized to help you to start with alumni networking (future alumni). The seniors can help to introduce you to their own seniors (alumni for you) and your seniors are your future alumni contacts.
- Grab the opportunity to attend every possible career fair during your MBA programme. They are helpful in meeting influential people, learning about the available opportunities in the market and their expectations from students of your maturity level.
- Do not underestimate the usability of the links made through family & friend’s acquaintances. They are even more convincing as they will be more confident about you when you seek their help in placements and job opportunities.
- Taking help of formal and informal social media platforms keeps you well informed about the happenings in and around your country. The personal and professional information shared on these platforms are no less than a job opportunity advertisement. And it is easy to approach people here to build a balanced network.
How does Networking help you in a long-run?
Being the most social animal, the major success of humans lies in being together. We need each other for sharing knowledge, emotional comfort, facing difficulties and of course, earning money. When you remain active in meeting people during the days your MBA programme, the bonds can go a long way. The life is uncertain and so are your decisions. When you decide to change your career path, you would need a long list to have a better choice. If you were vigilant in your MBA days, you must be able to have a good network of people who might be interested in your ideas.
How your college can help you
Colleges are the best source of networking opportunities. Right from the induction class to the last day of your course, there are hundreds of events being organized in the college that gives you an opportunity to come forward and meet people. Participation in seminars, taking lead in disciplinary events, volunteering for the interaction committee when you have guests from other colleges or companies, assisting your own teachers with projects, are some instances out of many when you can develop your overall personality and show your potential. You would never know how a short 5 minutes interaction with a company’s guest at your college ended up having a career of your dream.
Our only suggestion for all MBA aspirants is to have an undogmatic approach when it comes to meeting people. Every experience, either bad or good, has something for you. This is how you would know what or what not to do.
Narayana Business School an award winning MBA college, offers best of networking opportunities to its students helping them establish useful contacts and resourcefulness. To know more call us, email us or just pay a visit to your sprawling campus.