That’s the question every student should consider before entering a Business School. A first advise to make your time worth it: focus on your network. If one of the first selling argument of a school is its network, this is not without reasons. But if schools bring you the raw material in first place, it’s then your own duty to build and develop your relations. For those who don’t see the benefit of such involvement or who don’t know where to start, here are some tips to guide you and create your personalized strategy.
There is no distinction on whether you are working in a big, average or small company, you’ll always need to use your network in your life. Whether it’s to start your own business, climb the ladder in your company or to help your children finding a job, network is a powerful tool that needs care and attention.
Building a network can be done anywhere! However, one situation in particular is more suitable to work on the quality of the bonds you have created: School! And in business, what better than entering a business school?
Most students are often intimidated to address their teacher in a different context than the class. This fear may be legitimate by cultural reasons but you need to keep in mind that those professors are actual people with interests and passions. And if you pay attention, you’ll see that it’s often truly captivating. This first step in knowing them could already open some doors or at least open your mind on potential career opportunities.
Besides, a specialized professors could turn into an unexpected consultant for your business. Talking to a specialist, sometimes from a different nationality, could offer you a fresh new vision on your business. Don’t hesitate to ask for advices, or just to know his/her opinion. This initiative will be well perceive and could start a new promising discussion or personal recommendations…
Classmates are the people you spend the most time with during your 2 years of master program. Take this opportunity to make friends and create a special team spirit with them. Informal chatting, group work or gathering outside class time will enable you to share mutual interest and create strong bonds. This time shared together will be a common history that can help you in the future.
The secret of networking is simply to make a good impression. Try to be remember emphasizing one aspect of your personality. You worked hard, asked relevant questions or helped your classmates when they needed it? All these qualities will be remembered and assimilated by your classmates. On the opposite, don’t forget to observe as well around you their behaviour. It could help you to complete your opinion, the day your path cross one of them.
Depending on your school, the activities offered happening outside the class will be quite diverse. Nevertheless, they all have the common ambition to encourage networking in a different environment.
Business talk, conference, summer school, career fair,… the choice is wide. The best would be attending all of them but time is a luxury that we can not always afford. So, before precipitating, define your objectives and choose your target. A judicious preparation will help you to save time and give you more confidence once you’ll have to start talking with the other attendees.
Events organized by the school are at the intention of students but not only! Numerous events are open to the public and you can even appear on the guest list. Being a guest speaker for example, introducing what you are currently working on or what you achieved in the past, could be a great booster for your own visibility or the one of your company.
Furthermore, alumni meetings tend to occur regularly during the year. These are the best moment to find your classmates of this past time and to reconnect with them. A nice opportunity could suddenly arise a champagne glass in hand! Or if mondanities makes you feel uncomfortable, why not taking part (or organizing yourself) a sport tournament? The possibilities to see each other back are endless!
Besides, social media are also a good way to gather everybody at the same moment in a different place. Facebook, whatsapp, viber are good tools to stay in contact. Facebook in particular often host official alumni group of the school.
To conclude, you’ll encounter plenty of networking opportunities during your time in Business School. However, the abundance and the quality of your connexions only rely on your motivation and the energy you deployed in developing your network. So, don’t be shy and don’t forget to be open minded.