There's nothing worse than showing up at an event psyched to make contacts, only to wind up in a corner pretending to read the latest leaflet about company car park policies.
So, while it's important to learn about finance, accounting and other core business subjects it's also important to possess excellent networking skills. This is essential to finding the right job; more than 30% of business students internationally find jobs through effective networking; and it's also an important tool for growing a business and winning contracts.
However it's easier said than done. According to Matthew Logan, renowned psychologist and Director of Career Services at AGSM, there are five common barriers that prevent people from networking effectively:
- We feel pushy.
- We feel shy.
- We feel intimated.
- We fear rejection.
- We consider it to be a waste of time.
Most international MBA programs run sessions to reduce these fears and at AGSM this starts from the very first day when each student is encouraged to know all of his classmates. It's something that may not be as easy to do at schools with bigger class sizes. The AGSM class has 65 people, but class sizes at big business schools such as Harvard run to 900.
For some tips on overcoming social anxiety and making contacts, and the revelation that men tend to arrange themselves in semi circles, watch this video.