In this week’s edition, we delve into the art of networking, also known as Phase Three in the process of Human Commodification. Tip No. 1: Suffuse your life with self-promotion. You may have heard run-of-the-mill self-promotion tips like attend networking events! And hand out resumes! Or business cards! But we at Brad’s Corner find such tips grossly inadequate. You must take it to the next level. We recommend bringing 20 to 30 copies of your resume with you on the first day of class (the earlier the better!), handing them out and going through each bullet point in detail. This should flow quite naturally if the professor has everyone go around and do introductions. If the professor does not do this, just unobtrusively hand your resume down the rows, then raise your hand and explain your accomplishments.
Both weekends and late nights at the library present opportune moments for networking. Put on your best suit or business casual, copy those resumes and take a risk! If people are intensely studying, simply slide your business card over their homework and move on without a word. If you see people slacking off (tsk, tsk) and talking to each other, engage them in conversation and tell them that you are hoping to bring them into your professional network. Weekends present ample opportunities as well. With your free time, attend parties and catch the attention of high-power potential mates, repeatedly suggest carrying out mock interviews with your friends, or practice your marketing skills by posting unwanted items on Free & For Sale.
Tip No. 2: Network with faculty. We see faculty everyday, all around campus, but few of us are truly taking advantage of the opportunity this presents. It is, of course, best to network with faculty when they are in large groups, so you can get more bang for your buck. To accomplish this, we recommend you look up the faculty meeting schedule and burst into the nearest upcoming meeting to introduce yourself. See a script below:
“Hello, excuse me. Excuse me! EXCUSE ME!? Hi. I want to start by thanking you all very much for inviting me to speak to you today. My name is ______. (Begin handing out resume and sign up sheet.) I began my career ______ years ago in the lowly position of a ______. I’ve come a long way since then. But while I realize that you allotted 45 minutes for this presentation, I only have time for a brief introduction. As you’ll see, there’s a sheet coming around the room with times for you to sign up to meet with me one-onone, which will be a rare opportunity for you to learn more about my accomplishments…”
You can take it from here. Just remember, when introducing yourself to college faculty members and administrators, you may want to use a pseudonym to protect yourself from identity theft (people may be a little bit too impressed with your accomplishments). A couple old favorites include “Datharine Bond Hill” and “Don Chenette.”
Tip No. 3: Congratulate your peers on their achievements. Make sure to let your LinkedIn connections know that you are eagerly monitoring the development of their careers. Notice that whats-his-name from your class got a new job at Campus Patrol? Start the next class with an announcement to make him feel supported in his new responsibilities: “I was overjoyed to hear that um, our fellow student here, recently began a semester-long career. I can tell he’s really committed to following his passions. I think it’s worth spending the rest of class celebrating his achievements with this cake I baked and discussing how this step relates to his life-long career goals. ”
While we recommend that you always do these celebrations in person, unfortunately not all of your LinkedIn connections will be as quickly accessible. Some people, like your boss from last summer’s internship, might live across the country. In this case, you’re likely going to have to wait a few days before you can fly to the nearest airport and meet up with them outside their new office. Keep in mind, once you get there, they might not be available. In this case, order a flower arrangement to be sent to their office at least once a week for the next several months, making sure to express remorse that your visit didn’t work out.
Senior Snippet: You should be thinking about yearbooks and senior pictures at this time of year. While you’re at it, consider ordering a 50ft x 50ft poster of your favorite photo. This will make for a lovely installation in the College Center.