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What You Need To Know About Networking

Whether you like it or not, networking is a reality when it comes to the MBA – or nearly any field for that matter.

Amy Bell, an editor at Financial Times, recently spoke to experts on why exactly the MBA network matters.

“Most job switches today depend on networking,” Abigail Kies, director of career development at Yale, tells FT. “So much of hiring now is based on how well you have researched the company, how much you know, how curious you are — a lot of that comes through networking.”


For many, the idea of networking is frightening. However, experts say, that fear is often the only thing really holding you back from succeeding. Often times, it can be helpful to reframe how you approach or view networking.

“If you are an introvert, you can’t simply will yourself to be extroverted, of course,” a report by the Harvard Business Review reads. “But everyone can choose which motivational focus to bring to networking. Concentrate on the positives—how it’s going to help you boost the knowledge and skills that are needed in your job—and the activity will begin to seem much more worthwhile.”

Aashna Gupta, a Yale MBA graduate, says MBAs should view networking as relationship-building, rather than simply a transaction.

“Even once you have a job, you may want to connect with them…Think of it as a long-term process — you’re building your professional network,” she tells FT.


Today, MBAs have the advantage of using technology, such as LinkedIn, to better connect and build their network.

Alain Goudey, the chief digital officer at Neoma Business School, created an online network platform called Human Roads. The platform uses school record data of students and alumni and offers up-to-date pictures of their career trajectories.

“Students who don’t know what to do after their MBA can dig into the database and identify what jobs, sectors, countries the school’s alumni are in right now. They can look at each profile and arrange meetings,” Goudey tells FT.

And there are a variety of tools available to MBAs today to make connections even easier.

“LinkedIn is the most popular for business, and it’s a great idea to connect with people you’ve spoken to after meeting them,” Julia Gilmore, a writer for Top MBA, writes. “You can also reach out to people on LinkedIn to introduce yourself. Twitter can also be a great tool, especially for media or technology-focused jobs.”

While these technology mediums are useful, experts say, at the end of the day networking is about connecting people.

“It’s still about that personal relationship that you build,” Patricia Keener, head of London Business School’s career center, tells FT. “Technology doesn’t replace the human touch, and what it takes to build a connection.”

Sources: Financial Times, Harvard Business Review, Top MBA

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