Today Rob Cullen taught us the ins and outs of his “Networking Survival Guide”. He kept his presentation short but sweet, teaching us proper ways to greet people and network at events, while also discussing the best ways to communicate and conduct business with superiors. Adding to the livingness of his presentation, he threw candy at us, which kept us alert and acted as an incentive to participate. One of the bigger takeaways that I learned from Rob is that- It’s not about who you know, but rather about who knows you- therefore, personal selling/marketing and first impressions are extremely important! If you master the art of networking, you are already a step ahead in achieving optimal business success!
Although I would consider most of what Rob discussed to be generalized universal skills, there are some differences that are specific to Ireland. Similar to our other guides, Rob emphasized the significance of relationships in the business world. He described it as embodying the “get a cup of coffee” mindset, where the foundation of a business relationship lies in establishing a personal connection. According to Rob, the key to maintaining business relationships is to build a genuine friendship before diving into the professional aspect. By earning the genuine liking of an employer, you increase the likelihood of being remembered amongst a sea of applications they receive or talk to.
After today’s lecture, I have a different view of business in general. Sometimes when being interviewed or talking to superiors, I forget that they are people too; People who have went through a similar process as me and worked their way up, by learning from their mistakes and honing in on their strengths. Next time, I have an important meeting or presentation I will remember to use my personality first, then veer into the business side. I won’t be discouraged to talk freely and remember that I’m talking to a person and not a robot. I will definitely try his networking skills- shaking hands, engaging in open conversations and not being afraid to market myself by adding them on LinkedIn or getting their business card for future contact or securing that cup of coffee business date!