After meeting with Rob Cullen today, he provided us with a lot of valuable insight regarding networking. Personally, I have always thought networking was a bit unnecessary. At huge networking events, why would someone remember me over the dozens of other people with the same background and qualifications that I do? I’ve always been a little weary of networking, and the true effectiveness of it. After listening to Rob today, I can now see the importance of it. He gave us a lot of helpful tips about how to network effectively as well as what we can get out of networking. I think most of the things he spoke about are universal across both the United States and Ireland—you must take the time to get to know people, let them get to know you, and be an active listener. One of my main takeaways from his lecture was when he said “networking isn’t about who you know, it’s about who knows you”.
It’s no secret that Covid made networking a bit more difficult. I think it more so changed the way in which people network. Personally, I hate meeting people for the first time virtually. I think it’s quite difficult to make genuine connections with people through a computer screen and overall don’t like doing it. As a result of the pandemic, this was really the only option for people, myself included. I think most people adapted to working and meeting people in a virtual setting, despite how they actually feel about it. I know that is the case for me, as I just had to adapt to meeting people via Zoom and other similar platforms. As Covid is (hopefully) on its way out, traditional networking is making its return. As Rob spoke about, things are becoming more “hybrid” but overall returning to how they were pre-pandemic. Some of the pointers he gave us for networking in person were to 1) be interested not interesting and to 2) find common interests with the people you’re networking with. He gave us a great idea to write a few words that will spark your memory of someone on a business card they give you, to use as reference for the next time you talk. Definitely something I will be utilizing in the future!