At this November's Business Connect event, students learned—and put immediately into practice—the three key elements of effective networking.
Cosponsored by Lundquist College Career Services and the University of Oregon Career Center, Business Connect brought together ninety-six undergraduates with professionals from thirty-one companies and organizations.
Daniel Pascoe Aguilar, director of the UO Career Center, led the students through a series of exercises designed to build networking skills cumulatively.
First, the students learned how to polish their nonverbal communication skills. Next, they learned how to ask meaningful questions. Finally, they learned how to connect another person's interests with their own.
After each exercise, students practiced what they had just learned, striking up conversations with company representatives stationed at bistro tables throughout the Lillis Business Complex's Jubitz Atrium.
Thanks to the immediate feedback—both verbal and written—that these potential employers provided, students were able to continue improving their skills as they moved from table to table.
Business Connect will return in fall 2014. In the meantime, two upcoming Career Services events offer additional opportunities for students to burnish their social and professional skills: a winter term professional etiquette dinner and Career Palooza, a new event planned for spring term.