This article is sponsored by Advent Group.
Networking is fun, enriching, career-enhancing and thought-provoking. If you’re thinking of going to business school to do an MBA, you’ll find out that networking is an essential part of the degree.
Not only do universities strongly encourage it, but they also help facilitate it long after graduation. Business professionals can brush up on their networking skills at the Access MBA event in Ottawa on March 18 where they will have the opportunity to connect with representatives of top international MBA programs in person.
To those of you who prefer to keep to yourselves: gear up your engines and review these five reasons why networking matters.
1. Networking can help you start your own business
Every professional has different goals and career objectives, but in business school you are bound to meet people who are interested in starting their own business after completing their MBA. If you are looking for a business partner, a person with better access to angel investors or someone who knows how to find hedge funds, networking may be your best bet. Some of the most worthwhile business friendships begin in school so do not rule out this opportunity when networking with other MBA participants.
2. Networking can help you climb the career ladder
Not all MBA professionals are interested in starting their own business – some prefer to develop a robust career in an already established organization. Networking enables you to easily gauge different opportunities in order to climb the career ladder, and there is no better place to do it than the MBA classroom. You are bound to meet people who work in the same industry or in an industry that you would like to transition to. They can tell you about companies you didn’t even know existed and opportunities you couldn’t have learned about from conventional channels.
3. Networking is a long-term investment
Even if you are not searching for like-mindedness, shared interests are essential for networking. Hence, networking will help you meet like-minded people who share your future ideas, life goals, aspirations and other plans. Think about this: being part of a professional network today means you could be a member of a joint hedge fund tomorrow. And don’t worry – that doesn’t mean you need to have exceptional financial resources. More often than not, your abilities and the trust that your peers have in you will be the perfect starting point.
4. Networking is encouraged by business schools
Business schools have their own alumni groups that ensure peers do not lose contact with one another. In fact, networking is encouraged throughout the entire academic period, as well as in the years after graduation. The premise is that networking can lead to successful business interactions, which the school can claim (and rightfully so) to have facilitated.
Schools often organize events to maintain and grow these networks. Guest lectures, charity events and donation campaigns are just a few of the opportunities that business professionals can expect to take part in as a result of embracing university networking.
5. Networking leads to lifelong friendships
Keeping to yourself as a business professional is not a good strategy if you don’t want to miss out on a new career opportunity or the friendship of a lifetime. If you feel like you need some inspiration, remember that some people are excellent listeners and can always be a helping hand in life. Many of the best friendships are formed in university. Networking will introduce you to highly diverse and interesting peers who may change your perspective about your work ambitions and even attitude to life.
The point is – networking can catapult your career in ways you didn’t imagine before going to business school. Don’t only embrace it, pursue it!
The Access MBA event in Ottawa will take place on March 18, 2020 at the Ottawa Marriott Hotel. Participation is free of charge, but early registration is recommended to secure your one-to-one meetings with business schools. Attendees also have the chance to win a trip to a university campus of their choice.
This article was originally published on Access MBA.