The art of networking and effectively selling your brand

Rupali Monga

We all hear about it, speak about it, but many of us do not spare the time to act upon it.   As you will hear continuously throughout business school, networking is one of the most important aspects of an MBA program.  In my career prior to business school, I didn’t truly understand the value of long term relationships and professional connections that can be made through the art of networking.  Now, more than ever before, due to the current economic conditions, networking is extremely vital and is, in a sense, a marketing tool that can be very effective when soliciting yourself to professionals. 

It wasn’t easy, but not impossible.  As a career-changer, it took me tons of research and speaking with many business school alumni, current students, faculty, etc. to learn about the gimmicks of networking, resume building, interviewing, and effectively selling my brand.  My conversations and research led me to believe that nothing is more important in an MBA program than effectively soliciting your own skills, strengths and professional experiences during interviews and networking conferences.  I made it my mission to successfully market myself and land a summer internship prior to the end of my first quarter in business school.  Throughout this process, the key points were to understand how my strengths and skills would contribute to the growth of any company in the future and how to efficiently communicate these strengths and skills.  As a result, thus far, I’ve developed many professional relationships in various companies and have been offered a few summer internship offers. 

The first few months in business school are very challenging, but time is of the essence.  Course work is important, but the ultimate goal of pursuing an MBA is to help individuals transition into a new career or a higher ranked position in their existing careers.  Although competition amongst MBA candidates to land positions in the workforce is always fierce, it increases tenfold from January through May each year as those are the prime recruiting months. Therefore, do not sacrifice your career search to ensure you excel in your courses, but specifically during the first quarter of the program.  The moral of the story is – work hard, play hard.

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