Tuesday, December 6, 2011 myBiz Blog
Bucky's Career Corner: Networking Over Winter Break by Jamie Marsh Finco

Bucky Career Corner

Happy last week of classes!

Now that finals are just around the corner, it’s a great time to start thinking about what you want to accomplish during winter break. After you head out to Pasadena to cheer the Badgers on and have a chance to relax and unwind for a few days, the BCC recommends that you use the time to get a head start on your internship/career search by networking. So how do you initiate this process? Here are our top 5 tips to get you started…

1: Be strategic
  • What are your goals for networking and what is your corresponding timeline?
  • Which companies/industries are you looking to target?
  • Who do you know at those respective companies and what do you have in common with them?
  • Create a contact management sheet to keep everything organized
2: Coordinate informational interviews in your hometown
  • Identify some key contacts in your town that may be able to help you achieve your goals during break
  • Generate a professional and concise email to introduce yourself and request an in-person meeting
  • Perform your research and create a list of questions you wish to pose to your contact
  • Follow up and follow through…what are your next steps?
  • Send your thank you’s
3: Master the art of small talk
  • What do I talk about with my contacts?
  • Hot topics: sports, books, travel, movies, etc.
  • Toxic topics: health, love life, gossip, politics, religion
  • Be enthusiastic
  • Ask open-ended questions and engage in two-way dialogue
  • Ask for a business card to promote future conversations
4: Achieve success through social media

While Facebook and Twitter are fun sites to use for personal networking, they can also be extremely advantageous to your job search!

  • LinkedIn: One of the best professional networking sites available, LinkedIn allows you to initially connect with friends, acquaintances, business professionals and alumni and build relationships with their connections! You can also find organizational profiles as well as job listings on this site.
  • Facebook: Most hiring organizations have Facebook pages which spotlight company information, recruiting team contacts, videos, discussions about important topics, photos and even job openings!
  • Twitter: Several hiring organizations tweet about upcoming events, news releases and application tips and tricks via Twitter.
5: Engage with UW alumni!

If you decide to head out to California for the Rose Bowl, take the opportunity to attend a Badger Bash and get to know as many alumni as you can! You just never know who you may run into in a chance meeting.

You can also interact with alumni from the comfort of your home by utilizing the Wisconsin Business Alumni directory which hosts contact information for over 37,000 business alumni; visit the Alumni Relations office in 4359 Grainger Hall to register for an account. Also, take advantage of the Wisconsin Alumni Association Alumni Directory. Badgers are very loyal and want to give back to other Badgers…

For more information about networking during winter break, check out the BCC Career Toolkit. From the BCC staff to all of you, best of luck on your finals and happy networking!

Go Badgers!