Sprott students learned how to network their way to success yesterday courtesy of Sprott’s Business Career Management Centre (BCMC) and networking expert Michael Hughes.

The event was the second part of the BCMC Triple Etiquette Series, which helps students to make positive first impressions. The series offers tips and tricks to help students become more comfortable and confident in business environments.

One of the best job search strategies is to develop business relationships through networking. Hughes’ presentation focused on thinking of networking as something we do everyday.

“We have this tendency to miscontrue that networking is this formal thing we do once a month at a trade show or wine and cheese event,” Hughes said. “But it’s actually something we do when we ask to sit down next to someone at class or walk up and introduce ourselves.”

“This is a skill that we use every single day by building relationships on an ongoing basis.”

Hughes broke down each phase of the networking process, including how to get over the initial fear that comes in the first two seconds of meeting someone.

Students walking around a classroom practicing their networking skills, with a focus on two students to the right shaking hands.

Students learned how to build their network with networking expert Michael Hughes.

“The majority of professionals everywhere find walking into a room and connecting with strangers intimidating,” he said. “That’s just human nature.”

He suggested that to move past that fear, students shouldn’t think of events as these things where you need to make new connections, but as places where you have the opportunity to make new friends.

Another great tip from Hughes was to arrive early at networking events, so that you don’t have to walk into a crowded room of people and can instead act as a host, talking to and greeting people as they arrive.

Students who attended the event said they learned a ton of strategies to help them in the future.

“I’m walking out today feeling a lot more confident and that I’d be a lot more comfortable approaching someone at a networking event and getting to know them,” said Morgan Walls, a first-year Bachelor of International Business student.

The Triple Ettiquette Series wraps up this week with a three-course etiquette dinner (free of charge!) that gives students formal dining tips like how to hold a wine glass and how to properly eat a salad, courtesy of etiquette expert Erin Crotty of BloomStra Consulting.

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