Conversation Starters: How to Prepare for Networking Events

Connecting DU, Mentor-For-A-Moment, Career Fairs, Employer Meet & Greets.  These events are happening all over campus throughout the year and for many they may create anxiety about how to show up and make the most of the connections with DU alumni and employers. Networking is simply a way of mutually connecting with others who might share similar interests, education and/or backgrounds.  Here are some suggestions to prepare for the event:

  • DU alumni and employers want to talk to you so take advantage of their time on campus
  • Research the alumni and/or employers attending the event and create a list of those you want to talk to during the event
  • Prepare your elevator pitch
  • Generate a list of questions such as:
    1. What do you think is important to know for someone interested in pursuing a career in _____?
    2. How did you become interested in your area of work?
    3. What aspects of the job and/or the field are most challenging for you?
    4. What do you find rewarding about your work?
    5. Are there other organizations/people that you would suggest that I contact? May I use your name? (An important question so you can continue to grow your network).
  • Challenge yourself to talk to as many different people as possible.

Here are some suggestions to keep the momentum going after the event:

  • Connect with people you met on LinkedIn, follow their organizations, and join the University of Denver Alumni Group as a student or alum
  • Continue to use Pioneer Careers and the Pioneer Blog to learn about upcoming events and additional opportunities
  • Like us on Facebook or Instagram (@ducareerservices) to stay in touch with all Career & Professional Development opportunities and news
  • To identify other DU alumni who are happy to help you with your career goals check out Pioneer Connect where you will find volunteers who are eager to support students with resume reviews, career advice, job shadows and more!

Please remember that career staff members and many University of Denver alumni are happy to support you with your career goals and aspirations. To make an appointment with your Career Advisor, visit du.edu/pioneercareers or call 303.871.2150.

By Mary Michael Hawkins
Mary Michael Hawkins Director, Career & Professional Development Mary Michael Hawkins