In This Podcast

Diane Darling dispels common myths about networking, and explains how students and young professionals can use networking to get ahead. She discusses what people should be doing in order to effectively network, and states why young people need to give themselves more credit for networking than they do.
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Diane defines networking in two ways: building relationships before you need them, and the transference of trust. When you are trying to network, you should focus on what the other person can gain from making contact with you. It should be a symbiotic relationship, rather than just transactional. Diane encourages students to always research guests that are visiting campus, and to go through a faculty member to make alumni connections. Diane also emphasizes the importance of having an online presence, such as on Facebook and LinkedIn. Students should also purchase the domain for their name and set up a simple one-page website.
How do students overcome nerves when networking? Diane says that students should practice by networking with less important people first. Students could also try taking an acting workshop to become more comfortable with speaking in public. Diane also notes that students are getting a lot more experience in networking than they give themselves credit for, such as in group projects. She suggests finding a “networking buddy,” who is interested in the same industry, but who has complimentary skills. Finally, Diane reminds students to help people connect with each other, and to make an effort to stay in touch with contacts.

About the SpeakerDiane Darling is an author and Founder and CEO of Effective Networking, Inc. She founded the company on the premise that everyone can learn to network, they just need to find their own style. Combining interactive training, strategic planning and an exploration of the natural fears of networking, Darling demystifies the process by providing techniques that can be immediately implemented.

Darling has appeared on NBC Nightly News, in The Wall Street Journal, San Francisco Chronicle, and The Boston Globe. She is also a monthly columnist for the Boston Business Journal and teaches in the MBA program at Boston University.

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