There are many perks to getting an online MBA, including the opportunity to study at your own pace. However, one disadvantage is the inability to connect and network with your fellow classmates face-to-face. That being said, it’s still possible to successfully network in this online world.
Take Advantage of Online Networking Opportunities
In today’s society, it seems like you can do everything online and networking is no exception. As you’re working toward your online degree, make sure you also take the time to polish your online profile, especially on networking sites like LinkedIn. In fact, experts recommend that you take the amount of time you spend on other social networking sites, divide by two, and spend that amount of time working on your LinkedIn profile. Also be sure to join official groups through your university and connect with your classmates.
Use Face-to-Face Meetings Often
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Even though you’re getting your degree online, you can’t pass up the opportunity to network face-to-face when possible. If your degree program has an on-campus component, make sure you go so you can introduce yourself to your classmates and professors. You can even take the opportunity to meet classmates in your local area or form a study group with them. If not, look for other opportunities sponsored by your school to widen your network such as study abroad programs or academic competitions.
Practice Memorizing Names
Whether you’re networking online or in person, one of the most crucial tips is to remember the name and details of everyone you’re meeting. While this may seem hard, especially if you’re meeting several people at once, there are some techniques to help you. As soon as you meet people, repeat their name in your head around 15 times. Or, if you’re more of a visual person, immediately write down their name in your phone or on a notepad.
If at all possible, make sure you get a business card from every person you meet. That way, not only will you have their name and contact information in one place, you can also use the back of the business card to write important information from your meeting.
Work With Services Offered at Your University
Every university offers services that can help you expand your network. Look into programs such as career services, alumni memberships, and professional student clubs for more ways to grow your network. Additionally, be aware of networking nights offered at your university. This is a perfect time to practice your elevator pitch and engage with other professionals.
Look for Unexpected Places to Network
When you’re working toward your online MBA degree there will be opportunities to network with your fellow classmates that may not seem obvious at first. For example, there will be many times you’ll have to work closely with your classmates on team projects. While you might be focused on getting the project completed, this is also an ideal time to network with your teammates. Whether it’s through email, discussion boards, or conference calls, make sure you work hard and leave a positive impression.
Even in this high-tech world, old-fashioned networking is still crucial to career advancement. If you’re working toward your online MBA, make sure you take advantage of these networking tips.