Working the Room

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On Tuesday, April 11th, the Fellows gathered for a night of networking and learning with Bentley alumni. Fellows got to “work the room” to refine their professional networking skills in a more casual setting. Fellows, please share 2 networking skills you either learned or refined.

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5 thoughts on “Working the Room

  1. Working the Room was by far the most practical and useful event I have attended at Bentley. I have not had much experience with networking yet, so it is definitely a little intimidating to me. Attending this workshop gave me the skills and tips I needed to gain confidence with networking! Everything that was mentioned today was useful, but two things I will really remember are: 1) repeat your name and repeat the other person’s name! Making sure that your name gets remembered as well as you remember the name of the person you are networking with is so important. Introducing myself as “My name is Holly, like the berry!” is a great way of helping people to remember my name. This will definitely be my go-to networking trick in the future! and 2) put your drink on your plate, therefore don’t over-fill your plate, so that you can always have a free hand for handshakes when you meet someone. This is something so small, but so significant, and it will definitely help me to make a good first impression!

    Overall, this was an awesome event and I highly recommend it to everyone. Having actual PWC professions to network with was a great benefit, because I was able to talk to 5 PWC employees and get a taste of what networking is really like- and it was easier than I thought! Not only is networking important in a business sense, you will always be put into situations where you have to start up conversations with people you don’t know. I’m certain I will keep these skills that I learned today in mind as I move forward in my future.

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  2. Working the Room was a great event and I really learned a lot. This type of event is unique and something that we as students don’t necessarily learn about all the time. I thoroughly enjoyed the event. I thought Barbara was a great mediator and explained so many great tips for us as networkers. One of the most interesting skills I learned was to be strategic with how you hold your food. Barbara suggested to keep your cup on your plate while you take your food, therefore you are only holding refreshments in one hand and can talk and handshake with the other. Another skill I learned was about how to have people remember your name. My name is Andrea, however is is pronounced with more emphasis on the “ea”, almost as if there were an accent on the ‘e’. Therefore, I learned to repeat your name back to the person, as well as find something to say that will help them remember, like a fact or quality of your name. I think if I find something that works, it will really help me be remembered by professionals.

    I think this event was one of the most important and productive events we’ve had so far and I would love to have another similar to it in the future!

    -Andrea

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  3. I really enjoyed the Working the Room event. It reminded me that anybody, no matter what their level of experience, can benefit from networking tips and practice. I feel like as a senior I have had a ton of experience networking on and off campus, but I still was able to learn and improve my networking skills by going to this presentation. I learned a lot about small mannerisms and gestures that I had never really considered before when networking. For example, I learned that your name tag should be on your right side so it meets the other person’s eye. I also learned how to properly hold a plate of food, a napkin, and drink in my left hand. One skill that I refined during this workshop was exiting the conversation. I feel like that’s always the hardest part of any interaction, and the presenter gave us some good options for doing this in a polite and effective way.

    – Amanda McCormick

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  4. hannahgwilliams1

    I really enjoyed this event and would recommend to all who may need some help with getting used to networking as well as etiquette. One thing I learned that I thought was very interesting was that you are not supposed to start a conversation with your name. I usually do this so it was intriguing to hear that this is not recommended. By starting out with a comment or compliment it helps set a subject for the conversation. Another piece of advice I got was how to hold your appetizers, drinks, and napkins. To be honest I never thought that there was a specific technique to this but I am very glad that I learned. Now I will feel comfortable balancing food in one hand with the other available for a hand shake. This event was really informative and was great practice!

    Hannah Williams

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  5. monicare97

    I thought this event was a great experience and would recommend it to all of my friends for next year. It is a great way to build connections with professionals, as it is a great way to learn how to network with them. I think it gives you the opportunity to do these simultaneously so it releases the tension of having to do it for “real”, while in reality you are really networking with professionals.

    After this event I definitely learned how to exit a conversation and begin one. I usually find these two very intimidating and awkward in any type of occasion be it professional or social. After this workshop I learned basic techniques to leave a conversation, like I could introduce someone else into the conversation and then leave, or I could excuse myself. I never thought it would be that simple, but I got to try it out and it works perfectly and it is not awkward at all, it is actually more natural than just standing there not knowing what to do or say. I also learned what to say to start a conversation. From now on I will no longer start a conversation with the introduction of my name because that provides no value. I will instead talk about other things and easily ease into my name.

    I believe this was a great event to attend to and I definitely think I refined my skills and learned new ones! Now I need to start practicing, but I am confident that the skills I learned will make me more confident when working a room.

    -Monica

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