What have you found is the best way of making great networking connections? Maybe you prefer to meet people over coffee, or via phone or Skype. While large group interactions may remain difficult these days depending on location, there are still advantages to seeking larger groups to make new friends. It generally takes less time, is usually built around some common bonds you already share, and offers less stress in having to build connections with everyone you meet.
So what kinds of groups can you seek out?
1. New alumni: the second-years who just graduated from your program likely haven’t started their full-time positions yet – this is the perfect time to organize time together.
2. Alumni groups: check out undergrad and MBA alumni organizations in your current city. Not only can you engage with events currently planned, you can help to plan new events. Getting on these groups’ mailing lists will give you networking opportunities and a chance to explore your city at the same time.
3. Industry organizations: seek out groups related to your internship and your longer-run career goals. They will offer conferences, panels, and other informational events – more great chances to meet people and learn! Even ask questions during the panel and make a good impression. Those people MAY just be your interviewers next year!
4. Volunteer opportunities: in addition to providing great social opportunities, volunteering can introduce you to local business leaders who share your interests. Many non-profits are eager for talent to address growing needs for their services.
5. Prospective students: get together with prospective students at events hosted by your school (or look out for invitations from us) – it’ll provide a great opportunity to share your MBA experience, as well as provide you chances to network with outstanding candidates!
6. Affiliated organizations: join some of these groups in the summer that are specific to you. For example, there are women’s organizations such as the Forte Foundation, Ellevate, 100 Women in Hedge Funds, and NAWBO (National Association of Women Business Owners). Some veterans groups include NaVOBA and VAMBOA (Veterans and Military Business Owners Association). Interested in entrepreneurship? The Entrepreneurs’ Organization may be a great fit for you!