I met up for drinks with INSEADers over the past 2 days. From our exchanges, we noticed how a particular classmate was very good at networking. Despite the downturn, she clinched a nice job in an industry that many INSEADers would find attractive. Of course, she has relevant work experience and a famous MBA (ahem), but she also seems to know lots of influential people. That surely cannot hurt.
So we asked her how she networked. I will share her tips from a more generic point of view, so it can be applied across industries.
- You have to meet people. I’m making this the first step even though she didn’t say it outright, because without this you can’t proceed with the other steps. Anti-social people, take heed.
- Remember the names of the people you meet at each event. Write them down (if you don’t have their name cards).
- Find out who they are and decide who are the ones who could help you.
- Among those people, drop a note to the ones you had chemistry with. Those would the easiest to communicate with.
- The next tier is made of those you had less chemistry with, but could still be in a position to help you. You will have to put in more effort to communicate with them. But do it anyway.
An implicit point I picked up was that you can’t possibly follow up with everyone you’ve met. Instead, you should be selective.
That’s about it for the basics. When I have the time, I’ll add on my own tips as a part 2.