How to Network Successfully:
A Guide for Students Entering the Construction Industry
What Is Networking?
Networking is where students and industry professionals meet virtually and have brief, one-on-one conversations via our breakout rooms. Students are encouraged to join our virtual networking events between sessions to gain insights on the construction industry, build connections, get advice, and kick-start their career.
Why Should I Network?
This is the perfect opportunity to . . .
- Build long-lasting relationships.
- Gain skills for professional development.
- Discover opportunities that will help start and advance your career.
- Get advice from and ask questions to industry experts and former students.
- Learn about MCA and the construction community.
- Develop connections with industry leaders.
How Do I Network?
- Prepare . . .
- A digital business card or an online resume.
- A LinkedIn profile and have your profile link handy to send via chat.
- An elevator pitch or 30-second introduction of yourself.
- Know Your Goal. Looking for advice? Have specific questions on the industry? Interested in career opportunities? Establishing a goal will keep the conversation focused so you only get the most relevant information. Be sure to state your goal during your introduction. For example:
- “My name is [name] and I’m a senior at [school name] studying [major or program name]. Last summer I interned at [company name] and am really interested in [field, position, or type of job]. I’m graduating this spring so I’m excited to talk with you and learn about [goal] different career paths and get advice on job searching.”
- Ask Questions. After introductions, start by asking an engaging question that will spark the conversation. This is the time to build a connection and accomplish your goal. Questions may include:
- How did you get started at your company?
- What advice would you give students who are graduating?
- What is your favorite part about working in the construction industry?
- What has your experience been like so far in the construction community?
- Do you have resources or advice on job searching?
- Don’t Overthink It. Remember this is a conversation, not an interview. Our industry professionals are there to help and support you. Don’t feel intimidated or pressured to boast about all your academic achievements.
- Keep On Point. You only have a limited amount of time to speak with each professional. While you may have several different things you want to talk about, focus on your goal to make the most out of each conversation.
- Exchange Contact Info. Ask for their email, phone number, and/or LinkedIn. This is also the time to give them yours.
- Take Notes. After each conversation, jot down a few quick notes on what you discussed as well as any important information or resources.
- Follow Up. After LTA, connect with them on LinkedIn and send them a message or email . . .
- Thanking them for their time and industry insights.
- Summarizing key points of your conversation.
- Asking to meet again or schedule a call to discuss any unanswered questions (optional).
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