Charm School: Networking? AGAIN?

emily-2013 Uncategorized 2 Comments

So I’ll start this week’s blog with a small confession about myself:

I have a phobia of the word “networking”

Or at least I did. Starting in freshman year of college, everyone kept telling me “Well, its just really important that you keep networking”, but I didn’t have the courage to burst out and say “Yeah, but what IS that?!?” I got this scary impression that networking was making small talk with people who might one day hire you. You would trick them into liking you and being your friend, and then you would exploit them for a job. Well here’s another confession.

I hate small talk.  

So, naturally, I was terrified that I’d never learn how to network and never make contacts in the biz and never get a job!!! However, it turns out that networking is a lot easier than it sounds, and for the most part, just being here at Viterbi for a few years puts you in contact with all the right people. 

Pictures below!! Top Left) How I felt about “Networking”; Top Right) Cotillion teacher who gave me some great tips about networking; Bottom Left) Goldman Sachs hiring manager who gave me advice about interviewing; Bottom Right) 2 SWE members practicing their elevator pitch

 

 

However, it’s always good to keep practicing and learning new things, so last night, I attended another one of Society of Women Engineers’ signature events, Charm School, which was both a raging success and an epic failure, depending on how you look at it.

RAGING SUCCESS
It was a great event! I had a lot of fun, I met some great, new people, and I learned some relevant tips that will help me “network” better

EPIC FAILURE
No one came! Serves me right to schedule an event on a weekday at 5pm, but it was super sad. We put together this fun event, but everyone was busy with those pesky midterms.

Here are a couple of things I learned last night

  • I need to invest in a few more pair of panty-hose, because they’re considered a nice touch and every single pair that I have has runs
  • 10-point rule. Never be wearing more than 10 things. i.e. sum(shirt, pants, jacket, ring, earring 1, earring 2, necklace, watch, shoes, teeth bling) = 10! 
  • We shake hands BECAUSE when we all used to carry sharp weapons around, it was a demonstration that your weapon-wielding hand was empty. Note: Good small talk topic!!
  • If you put both your hands out in front of you in chop position and make a circle with your thumbs and index finder, the left hand makes a B and the right hand makes a D. This is how you remember that at dinner you BREAD goes on the left and your DRINK goes on the right.
I had a great time, as I always do at SWE events (http://www-scf.usc.edu/~sweusc/), and I can’t wait to try out my new “Lady Engineer” skills at the career fair next week!!

Comments 2

  1. I agree Emily. Networking seems so strange when you first enter college, but it really is everything. Once you can get past all the small talk and make a connection with someone, (usually a beneficial connection) so worth it!

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