Interview Questions From Intern Employers


How Part-Time Students Can Find Networking Opportunities

Let me get this straight…You expect me to work-full time, take classes, raise a family, be good citizen – and then network on top of all that?

Yeah, that’s pretty much the expectation for part-time, online, and even executive MBA students. You see, a network is like insurance. You hem and haw about paying the premium…until you lose your job or need expertise. Then, it is the best investment you’ll ever make.

Unlike insurance, networking requires time. And that’s a luxury for these students. So how can they build a network on the sly?

That was the topic of a new U.S. News and World Report column. Ask any master networker and he or she will tell you that networking requires discipline, consistency and grit. For example, Penni Hurst, a mother of three who’s enrolled in the executive MBA student in the Coles College of Business at Kennesaw State University, holds 7:00 a.m. networking meetings at Starbucks before heading work. For her, networking is part of a consistent routine, no different than eating or exercising.

Of course, the advent of Linkedin has made networking seem like a social enterprise, where you can connect with people from a distance and occasionally exchange emails at your convenience. But fostering deep and personal relationships take time – and a face-to-face connection. And social media, in the end, is just a conversation starter.

That’s why campus professional organizations – and extracurricular activities – are a must. For example, the Belk College of Business’ Graduate Business Association recently partnered with Habitat for Humanity to build a house, an excellent opportunity for students to get coveted face time. Another strategy? Work the registration table at group events. “You’ll meet everybody that’s coming in there,” says Dirk Duran Smith, the assistant director of MBA career management at the Coles College of Business. And that doesn’t include national networking events, such as the annual National Black MBA Conference.

Faculty is another overlooked resource who can connect part-time students to potential mentors and employers, says Corinne Snell, the assistant dean of student professional development at Temple University’s Fox School of Business and Management. Most important, networking can happen anywhere, Smith observes. “Networking can be in the store, standing in line, waiting to pay for something. You never know who people are and what they bring to the table.”


Source: U.S. News and World Report

Questions about this article? Email us or leave a comment below.