Expanding Your Network!

Establishing your network is important in every profession. This is noted within the professional faculties as well as within other disciplines including engineering, business and research to name a few. Even as a student, it’s important to engage in networking events in order establish rapports with leaders within your given field. It's the first step in getting your name out there! In pharmacy, we have numerous opportunities to network.  Every time I attend an event with the potential for networking, there are some tips that I keep in mind that help to guide my experience. I hope these tips will also help you, if you find yourself at a networking event!
  1. Dress to Impress Make sure you check the dress code for the event! Most networking events require “business casual” attire. This means no jeans or running shoes! 
  1. Do Your Research - Take a look at who will be attending the networking event. Get to know the representatives and the companies. This will help you in figuring out what questions you would like to ask the representatives.
  1. Be Prepared Depending on the nature of the networking event, make sure you bring copies of your resume or business cards. You can provide these to the representatives you speak with so they'll be able to remember you!
A networking event at the Faculty of Pharmacy! [Photo Credit: Pharmakon Yearbook Club]
  1. Be Friendly! - Show that smile and don’t be afraid to make small-talk. Ask about how they’re doing and then segway into more topical questions regarding your field and interests. Be confident!
  1. Know When to Close - You may be nearing the end of the conversation and don’t know how to close. An easy way is to state that you’ve really appreciated the time you’ve spent with them and offer giving them your resume (if appropriate) or ask for their business card. This alleviates any awkwardness, and instead, creates a positive and appreciative departure.
  1. Follow-Up - If the representative left a business card with you, consider emailing them and let them know that you appreciated your time with them. It’s a great way to begin fostering good rapport within the industry.

I hope you find these tips helpful and will be of use for any networking event you plan to attend!

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