Throughout the academic year, the Careers service at Queen’s host employer events, fairs and industry insight opportunities. These are a great networking opportunity and offer the chance to ask questions of some key players in your target industry.
However, often the word ‘networking’ can fill you with dread. Don’t fret – it’s something you do every day. “Networking is something we do everyday, often without realising it!,” says Emma Lennox, Queen’s Careers Consultant. “It’s about reaching out to people, sometimes with an objective in mind (potentially employment-related) and sometimes not.
It’s about connecting online and in person. If online, be professional, join groups and post meaningful comments, expand your network and be curious!” she says.
Before the sessions
Emma suggests doing a bit of desktop research before attending an employer event so you know who is going and what you might want to ask. While the guest speakers will be doing much of the talking, it doesn’t hurt to have a short bio prepared in case you are asked. According to Emma, this should answer three key questions: Who are you?
What do you do/study? What are you looking for?
At the sessions
Emma has prepared the following cheat sheet of questions you can ask employers at networking events:
How did you start in this area of work?
Where do you see a person like me fitting into this field (industry, company)?
What professional associations should I join?
What professional publications should I read?
What are some of the problems and issues your organisation faces?
What are the most necessary skills for these types of jobs?
What are the trends affecting your business?
What’s a typical career path for someone coming in at my level?
Can I keep in touch with you and let you know my progress?