Posts Tagged ‘Networking’

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Preparing for the start of term

Posted by: Jeremy
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Having been at London Business School for a month now, I think the thing I was most surprised by was how quickly things went from relatively relaxed in first week to ridiculously busy with no time to sleep. The flow of time is weird too. At the start it was very slow but now it’s picking up. Maybe some people with psychology backgrounds can comment on that.

But going back on topic, it’s not really the classes that get you, but rather the flood of club events, applying for info sessions and Peer Leadership Programme spots, applying for leadership positions in clubs (yes, MiMs can apply for executive spots for clubs at London Business School), doing practice case interviews (if you’re interested in consulting; if you’re into finance then you’re already applying and busier than normal with finalizing CVs and cover letters before everyone else), networking, etc, etc, etc. The list goes on.

Speaking of networking, the school will drill into your head that networking is very important here—although I don’t think a lot of us have a good grasp of how to do it yet in all types of situations. What I mean by ‘types’ of networking is that networking doesn’t just mean participating in those networking ‘events’ after info-sessions. That is just one type of networking—a type that is ill-suited for people like me who are on the deep end of introversion (it’s something to adjust to, personally). There is the more private and frankly more constant side to networking of talking with your peers about their (and your) pasts and values, working with your case interview practice groups and sharing information during breaks, and getting involved with clubs.

On the subject of clubs, I think those are probably the best forums for networking because you already know that they have similar interests as you. As a personal example, I recently interviewed for an analyst position at SA (Student Association) Strategy, which is a student consulting group that provides consulting services for London Business School. At the end of the interview (it went very well), I found out that my interviewer was actually involved in something called Social Return on Investment (SROI), which is something that coming into London Business School I wanted to learn more about! It was quite amazing to make that connection and I’m really keen (not standard cover letter, “I’m keen to join your company!” but like really, super keen and excited. On the topic of cover letters, do not make them boring and standard. The point is to be different. I’ll write more on that in a future post.) to work with her over the next year.

All that being said about the importance of networking and just getting out there, taking risks, and trying different things, it is extremely important for you to manage your time effectively—especially in terms of managing commitments. There are so many opportunities that if you start to apply for everything you have an interest in, you’ll probably wear yourself thin trying to do everything. So pick and choose. Be strategic. But when you’ve decided, devote yourself to it for real. That’s where you’ll see the true learning benefits at London Business School.

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MiM2012 orientation was packed with useful career development programs, personal development programs, keynote speakers and of course, evenings at the Windsor. As I look back on orientation week, one message seems to really resonate….Network. Network. Network. And did I mention Network?!

During the first month at LBS I had the fortunate opportunity to hear successful networking stories that showcased the value of building long lasting professional connections. Whether you use networking as a form of job-hunting, a learning opportunity or making new friends, networking never fails to reap professional benefits. In the beginning I was hesitant to walk into a room of strangers in business suits and really put myself out there. However, as one of the keynote speakers so aptly put it, “just be yourself, but with skill”. Already, LBS has helped in harnessing my skills and clarifying the process of networking. I mean, that’s one of the great things about studying at LBS, there are infinite opportunities to make new connections, to hear about others’ experiences and to make valuable lifelong relationships that render beyond Nash lounge and Taunton library. I had the fortunate opportunity to speak with senior executives, managers, and recruiters across all industries including Johnson & Johnson, Accenture and Deloitte. And to think, the program has just begun!

I look forward to continuing to develop my networking skills, whether I’m at the Windsor this evening or the FINCO event later this week.

Happy Networking!

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