On February 27th, HRSA hosted Networking 101 to inform students on how to make a lasting impression when interacting with business professionals. Our guest speaker, Anda Prunianu, GVA Campus Recruiter for Deloitte, provided valuable tips on dress codes, networking etiquette, social media, and follow-ups with the professionals you meet at networking events.
I realized the importance of having networking skills as I began attending accounting networking events in my 2nd year at SFU. Without any networking experience, it can be intimidating to converse with professionals and it can be even more difficult to stand out in a group conversation. Attending HRSA’s Networking 101 from last year allowed me to apply these tips to the CA Recruit, which consists of numerous networking events for post-secondary accounting students.
With the CA Recruit and other networking events, such as our upcoming Spring Soirée, the tips that Anda provided can be applied universally to help students stand out:
- Dress accordingly to the event’s dress code: this makes you look professional and more importantly, it demonstrates your ability to follow instructions.
- Be attentive and respectful to everyone in a group conversation: you do not want to stand out for being rude or disrespectful.
- Go for quality over quantity of relationships: you only have a short amount of time to network, so try to build lasting impressions with a few professionals instead of trying to meet everyone.
- Prepare for the conversation: if you know who is attending the event beforehand, try to find out more about them through LinkedIn or their company profile. You may be surprised to find any common interests that you can converse about with them later on.
- Stand out with a personalized follow-up email: it helps to send a thank-you or follow-up email to professionals; and it is even better to personalize this email with certain conversation topics that you had with a professional at the event.
- Further develop the relationships you make: strengthen your relationships by meeting these professionals at future networking events, or ask them if they are available to talk over coffee (professionals have busy schedules, so do not be surprised if they reply to you at a later time or refuse due to their schedules).
After joining HRSA as the VP of Finance, I was able to learn more about the HR profession and what it is like from a recruiter’s perspective. From what I have learned, networking helps attach a figurative image of you to a job application; this image is shaped by the relationships you have with the company’s representatives and the impressions you have made on them. Having this knowledge and by gradually building my networking experience throughout the CA Recruit, I was successful in getting an interview with Deloitte and I am very excited to be joining them for a co-op this summer.
It was nice meeting the students at our February 27th Networking 101 event, and I hope that everyone took away some helpful tips from Anda which will allow you to build stronger and more meaningful professional relationships.