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Rob Cullen’s talk this morning on networking was phenomenal, and I learned quite a bit about how to present myself as well as maximize networking opportunities. He particularly mentioned appealing to the person themselves, rather than the professional, and demonstrated by asking my colleague Nicholas his job but quickly shifting to his hobbies, favorite sports teams, and any recent movies he has watched. Remembering my previous networking events, I recount being much more direct in my conversations. Rather than really trying to get to know the person, I went straight for job opportunities and talked strictly about work. Though this is more of an indication of my being a networking amateur, it is representative of the relative directness and task-oriented relationships of America in comparison to Ireland. I do plan on applying Rob’s teachings in my professional networking life, no matter the culture difference, as in my experience there is far too little connection to the actual person in many business transactions and relationships. 

Attempting to network during COVID was a complete nightmare, as there is a huge loss of body language indicators in virtual events, which can play invaluable roles in knowing what to say and overall how the conversation is going. In my next networking event, I plan to make use of Rob’s advice to 1. Be interested, not interesting, and 2. Help, don’t sell. These both emphasize listening and attempting to get the most out of others, rather than showing yourself off. Everyone loves talking about themselves, but at the end of the day very little people care for gloating.

We also visited Auxilion’s offices in the outer limits of Dublin, and got a great look at what makes them so successful. Though their executive board is made up of an older crowd, they are emphatic about innovation and they acknowledge how fast the tech industry moves. They highlighted that their strength is people, a quite interesting strength for how literally robotic technology can be. However, it does make sense that the ability to connect and truly understand what the customer is asking for, as well as maintaining a balanced and effective relationship, could lead to historic success. Overall, yet another day of highly useful information with plenty of cultural insight as well!

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