Whether you are a first- or fourth-year student, you should be going to networking events. They may lead to your first summer internship, or your post-undergrad dream job. As beneficial as networking events can be, they can also be very intimidating. However, not if you know how to prepare for them. Use these five ways to prepare for your next networking event!

1. Research Attendees Before the Networking Event

Before attending the event, take a look at which professionals will be in attendance. You can research them to come up with some potential conversation starters. As a result, you can create a meaningful conversation with the professional. This meaningful conversation could lead you to many future opportunities as a student.

2. Update your Social Media Profiles  

You must do this before researching and following up with professionals. Make sure your latest jobs are on your LinkedIn profile, and that a professional headshot is at the top. Due to this, professionals will be able to identify you, before and after the networking event. Finally, if your Facebook, Twitter and Instagram profiles are public, they must look appropriate to a professional.

3. Memorize your Elevator Pitch

“Tell me about yourself.” This may be one of the most dreaded questions to answer. You can avoid this stress by memorizing a short introduction about yourself. Your talk about who you are and what you do must leave a positive impact on the professional. With this statement, you will create a long-lasting impression with the individual.

4. Track your Contacts

Throughout the networking event, keep track of all the professionals you speak to.  You can do this by collecting business cards, or adding them on LinkedIn right on the spot. By doing this, you will know who to follow up with after the event.

5. Follow-up with your Contacts

Don’t forget to follow up with the professionals that you network with. Thank them for their time and ask them to connect at a later time, should that be relevant. Overall, keep in contact with these professionals, as you never know where it could lead you!

To learn more about Telfer Networking Events: www.telfer.uOttawa.ca/en/careercentre/undergraduate-students/networking-events