Today we listened to a guest speaker at Griffith college. Rob Cullen came to speak to us about the importance of networking and offered us different techniques to make networking a smoother process. There are a lot of universal techniques that are generally used in regards to networking. Some of these are a firm handshake with eye contact, keeping introductions short and sweet, and making sure you are staying present in the moment and not sitting on your phone in the corner. I knew a lot of the information that was said today in the lecture, but it was good to hear some new tips along with reassuring that the information that I knew was relevant.
There are some networking events that are exclusive to Ireland. One of those would be the pub culture here. In the US, I feel like two people looking to have a business conversation would go out and grab coffee. But here in Ireland, there would be a better chance two people would go out for a pint and converse at a pub instead. Also, there are specific social events and festivals that are exclusive to Ireland that could be very beneficial for networking. For example, St. Patrick’s day celebrations would be a cool experience for a networking event. It would be a unique situation to network, and presents an opportunity to set up a next meeting with someone.
Some of the techniques that we learned today I will definitely implement when I continue with networking throughout my career. The one that I never really thought of was when and when not to enter a conversation during a networking event. If you can see the conversation looks closed off, you should avoid barging in. But if you notice a very open conversation with a few people, feel free to join in and introduce yourself. This was a good piece of information to know to ensure you aren’t being an inconvenience to people who are trying to make a deal and or schedule another meeting. Another technique would be to optimize my LinkedIn profile. Rob gave us a good example of what to and what not to have on your LinkedIn page. He told us what to use as a profile pic and what not to use, along with ways to ensure the most connections. He told us that adding a note along with your connection has worse odds of getting accepted rather than in you just send a connection. This can be beneficial throughout my career to make sure I am securing the most connections as possible.
Tomorrow is finally my site visit. In the afternoon, we will be attending FoodCloud to have a tour and ask a few workers some questions that my group and I have written up. I’m looking forward to it!