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How to approach networking post graduation?

I’ve come to the realization that without networking, the likelihood of me landing any role is pretty slim. During undergrad, I had a job that allowed me to meet people. I even met some guy who worked in PE that was friendly and helpful but eventually lost touch…which I definitely regret now.

Now that it’s time to network again, I’m thinking of cold emailing & using Linkedin. How should I approach now that I graduated almost two years ago? I know it’s usually to network as a student but I don’t have that luxury anymore.

LinkedIn is your best bet. I posted this a while back in another thread. I copied it over and edited some parts, but feel free to ignore anything that doesn’t apply to you.

Email them in the morning (usually before 11 AM). This is the time when most people check their email the most and are most likely to respond. By the afternoon, most people are either so busy in work that they won’t respond to anything that isn’t work related, or are so frazzled that they will just delete your email. And if you email them in the evening or at night, then people can ignore these emails because they have time to review their emails in the morning and decide what’s important and what isn’t. And make sure when you email them, you mention the correct name and correct company. I once met a VP in TD who said that he got an email from someone who called him by the wrong name and spoke about Scotiabank in the email. This VP was still kind enough to meet the guy, but he said that most people won’t even touch such an email and in fact they may let their colleagues know so it hurts that person’s chances of getting a coffee chat with someone else from the company.

Sign-up for networking events at your choice of companies. Most companies will have these events during fall. I know it’s too late this year, but maybe next year you can do so. And there are also associations that hold networking events throughout the year, either from your university (even for alums) or in the industry. Join those associations and attend those events.

For coffee chats, make it about the person’s experience, their role, their challenges, etc and as much as you try to plan the coffee chat, let it just take the natural flow. I once ended up speaking with someone for 30 minutes about my writing hobby and he became my biggest ally inside the company because of that. You want them to talk, but you also want to relate it back to what you want. Prepare an elevator speech about yourself. Basically 30 seconds on who you are and what your experience is. For example, I’m an investment research professional and I have had experience in a variety of roles where I did xyz. You want the person to know about you, but you don’t want to go on a 30-minute rant and don’t open with this. Most people will say “tell me about yourself” or “what are you interested in” or something along those lines. Then you can use it and if they probe, then you can expand on it.

Also make sure you are carrying business cards and always ask for theirs. If they don’t have one, that’s fine, but you basically want one so you can follow-up. Email them back within 24 hours after the coffee chat, thanking them for it, and following up on anything they may have mentioned. Like if they said, “oh send me your resume and I’ll submit it for x job”, then follow up, thank them, and provide them your resume. Or if they said, “let me see if there’s something of interest for you”, then follow up on that. You want to have your business card on you because it looks professional when you hand over your business card. Both of these are absolutely vital! You don’t know how many times I’ve met people who don’t give me a business card or follow-up. Then 2 months later, they suddenly email me asking me to be their reference. Sorry, but no. If you didn’t even have the courtesy to thank me, then I’m not going to be your reference.

Also don’t just add the person to LinkedIn. Always ask for their permission first. Before you sign off from the coffee chat, just ask them “Is it okay with you if I add you on LinkedIn?” Most people won’t say no, but it just shows that you’re being conscientious and you never know there may be someone who says no.

Finally, dress professionally. If you’re meeting someone from the investment or finance industry, full business professional. No question about it. If you’re meeting someone from outside that industry, then you can maybe lose the blazer/jacket, but that’s about it. I once met someone who came to meet me in ripped jeans and a shirt that read “FCUK YOU”. Needless to say that conversation did not go well.

Bachelors of Business Administration (BBA), Masters of Business Administration (MBA)
"People grow through experience if they meet life honestly and courageously. This is how character is built." Eleanor Roosevelt

Man, I’m in the same situation. Also graduated 2 years ago. Never networked, so I don’t have any connections. Add to this that I’m from another country, came to US without knowing anybody, and with shi**ty English, cause my mother tongue is Russian.

Right now I’m using LinkedIn to land interviews. Once, I connected to the recruiter of PE firm via LinkedIn, but as athene said, ended up writing the wrong name. Anyway I got a reply, saying that I had to apply through the company’s website, even though I attached my resume and CV with a message.

Sometimes I find emails of key people in recruiting department and send them my resume and CV. In some cases I send twice or three times to make sure that they’ve read my email.

Thank you so much for the sound advice!

I was told to only network with alum, former classmates, etc.. since I’m no longer a student.

I don’t necessarily agree with this since I’ll be limiting opportunities. 

Thank you so much for the sound advice!

I was told to only network with alum, former classmates, etc.. since I’m no longer a student.

I don’t necessarily agree with this since I’ll be limiting opportunities. 

dasstienn wrote:

Sometimes I find emails of key people in recruiting department and send them my resume and CV. In some cases I send twice or three times to make sure that they’ve read my email.

Don’t do that. They got it the first time. Sending again doesn’t show assertiveness. It just annoys HR.

Protips from ohai (me):

1) LinkedIn is the most convenient, and likely most effective way outside of direct contact information.

2) The comments about professionalism above are accurate. 

3) When making introductions, always be clear on what you want to achieve. That is, I want to prepare for my upcoming interview, I want to research a role where I should target, I want you to hire me, or so forth. Otherwise people will be like, who is this jabroni, what does he want?

4) Money can buy time - if you invite someone to Masa, I am pretty sure they will meet you. Lee Ka Shing says 20% of your money should go to entertaining people to gain influence. Of course, being unemployed, this might be impractical.

5) Tuck your dick in your legs and be shameless. You are asking for help, so you cannot be shy or prideful. Reward people later when you are CEO of Deutsche Bank. Ask your friends to introduce you to their friends. Even Nery, whose friends are all mooching losers, has at least one IB friend (allegedly).

6) Troll Indeed.com every day. It is the best direct job listing website and pulls from other websites. 

7) Be realistic and plan for failure. You’re most likely not going to get what you want. What is your backup plan?

8) A lot of people who don’t get desirable jobs will go to graduate school. Consider the financial implications and don’t just do it because you have nothing else to do.

If you have questions, contact Nery, Greenman or Igor, my subordinates. Tanks. 

“Visit the Water Cooler forum on Analyst Forum. It is the best forum.”
- Everyone

I would think that you should approach networking post-graduation similar to how you did it pre-graduation. Just make sure to inform everyone you introduce yourself to that you have now graduated. 

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ It be like that sometimes.