Undergraduate Blog / Career Development

Tips for networking

20150805_133019As an intern at Evol8tion, one of the best parts of my job was to attend events around New York City. My job was to write about the different events, the startups that attended the events, and find out more about the coolest companies I came across. Here’s a quick example. Attending startup related events around Manhattan also gave me the opportunity to meet many entrepreneurs. Here are a few networking tips that I learned along the way.

No event is too small

The small events often are best for genuinely getting to know other attendees. I find that large events are far more impersonal and superficial. Small events are generally more focused than large events and attendees are looking to learn or share about particular topics, rather than showing up because their boss made them. My criteria for choosing events is simple: it must be startup or technology related. Yes, my criteria is very broad, but it also helped me learn about sectors that I don’t have experience in like real estate and healthcare.  On a non-related note, small events are also great ways to get closed beta invites to cool platforms from emerging startups.

Speak to everyone

The most unexpected relationships could be the most fruitful. A few of the best relationships I created while in New York City were created by talking to random people at events. Some of these relationships turned to business opportunities for Evol8tion, but others were a little different. I had the opportunity to visit and learn about several other startups through relationships formed at events and even received free tickets to other events that I could never afford on an intern’s salary.

When you attend an event force yourself meet others. I forced myself to speak with at least three  (non-related) people per event.

Reach out

The most important tip I have for networking is to ask for help when you need it, especially from alumni. Alumni are extremely open to helping students from their alma mater. Don’t let their job title intimidate you. This summer I learned many things from my internship, but advice and tips from Babson alum’s played a role in me having a successful internship.

Networking is a part of business, so you might as well get good at it. Take every chance you can to meet new people because you never know where it will take you.