These talks were then followed by a short networking session, this was a great chance to ask the current graduates about their experiences and their recruitment process from assessment centres to the interview stages as well as finding out a bit more about their specific roles within IBM. This networking session provided me with the perfect opportunity to practice some of the skills and tips I had learnt from a previous SELA networking workshop with Will Kintish, a professional speaker and business networker. My top tips to have a positive networking experience are:
- Be yourself – networking is all about building relationships so you want to get across who you are and your personality from the beginning.
- Ask questions – show an interest in what the person does/who they are, where they come from and try to find a common interest that drive the conversation without either party having to think too much.
- Smile – smiling goes hand in hand with open body language, it is an easy way to show you are friendly, approachable and eager to listen.
- Follow up – what was the point in engaging and starting to build a relationship with someone if you don’t continue the conversation at a later date? Ask your conversation partner the best way to stay in touch and try to make contact within 48 hours of the event, to show you are interested.
Once we returned to the classroom we could have our CVs checked, here we received some useful feedback from people who know what they are looking for and gave us some insightful tips on how to improve our CVs before applying to jobs.
That evening a group of us ventured into Southampton and enjoyed an evening meal at a pizzeria.