Today we had a lecture from Rob Cullen about networking. I was a bit worried that the content would be repetitive as we have learned about networking at Pitt, however it was pretty interesting. Rob was great at grabbing our attention and keeping us engaged. He demonstrated who to talk to at networking events by going through different scenarios. If a group is closed, do not interrupt their conversation. If a group is open, it is okay to join in. If someone is alone, they should be the first person you talk to. It was interesting to learn about that as it hasn’t been touched on before. To compare networking in Ireland to networking in the US, it seems much more genuine in Ireland. As mentioned in a previous post, Ireland is high context which means they focus on building relationships. In terms of networking, it is better to talk about hobbies and interests rather than your business or career. That is what makes you stand apart from others and makes you memorable. The US is low context which means our interactions are more surface level and transactional. We definitely tend to focus more on our businesses and careers when networking, rather than truly listening and conversing with one another. Thanks to Rob, I now know where to properly place my name card when attending a networking event and I also know who to talk to and what to say.
Covid has definitely negatively impacted networking. Now, events can be held online which, while convenient, is not very effective. It is hard to truly get to know someone and get a feel for their personality when you are staring at a screen. With people starting to resume their in person activities, networking might be more nerve racking for some and very exciting for others. It is easy to talk to a screen because an element of it seems more forgiving. People who are not used to networking in person might have a hard time doing so.
We also visited a company called Auxilion which provides IT services. I felt like they didn’t give us very much insight on their company which is going to make my project a bit tricky. But who doesn’t like a challenge…right? I think they are still relevant because their services can be applied to many different industries so they have no shortage of customers. Auxilion was definitely different from all of the other site visits we have been on. They were dressed more professionally and they presented more formally which I believe is due to the age difference of their employees to other companies. The staff was a little older than that of Google and Thinkhouse, so it makes sense that they wouldn’t be totally up to date on the latest trends. All things considered I did enjoy the visit, after all, they gave us cake.