Networking Tips for The MFMS

Networking Do’s and Don'ts

The MFMS Edition

 


1. DON’T be afraid to introduce yourself

The biggest mistake that college students can make at a networking event is to be too nervous to introduce themselves to professionals. Both the industry professionals and students attending the MFMS are invited and encouraged to network with and meet one another. The best way to expand your professional network is to approach someone, introduce yourself, and shake their hand. First impressions are important, so be confident in yourself and make sure to take advantage of the opportunity.

 

2. DO practice an elevator pitch about yourself

When meeting other students and professionals, you should have a concise and personal elevator pitch prepared that answers the commonplace question: “tell me about yourself.” Although your elevator pitch should be professional, it should also reflect your personality and individuality and illustrate what makes you stand out from others.

 

3. DO bring a copy of your resume

It is always better to be over prepared than underprepared, and nothing says preparation like having a hard copy of your resume for a recruiter. Even in the chance that you don’t end up passing out your resume to anyone, it’s never unimpressive to have 10 copies of your resume on hand. Before the event, make sure your resume is up to date and accurately depicts the experiences and accomplishments you want to share with others.

 

4. And DO know your resume

Once you are engaged in an in-depth conversation with a professional, you should be able to cite your strengths and past experiences. This goes beyond simply knowing what role you played; you should also be able to thoroughly explain the specific goals you accomplished that helped you develop the skills and interests you have today. Knowing your resume will help your conversation flow more naturally as well as reveal more about yourself to whomever you are speaking with.

 

5. DO prepare a list of questions

It is an unrealistic request to have a list of questions tailored for each of the specific professionals that will be in attendance at the MFMS, especially when there are so many incredible ones to learn about. That’s why we suggest coming to the summit with a general list of questions ready that you can then tailor to ask any professional in real time. Professionals are typically impressed with the students who are curious about their endeavors. If you need a headstart, think about a question along the lines of: “if there were one thing you wish you knew when you were my age, what would it be?”

 

6. DON’T forget to follow up after the event

Even if you feel as if you have made a lasting first impression or had a memorable conversation with a professional, make sure you remember to follow up within the days following the MFMS. Use Linkedin to your advantage–send an invitation to connect with everyone you spoke with! If you exchanged personal information with a professional, don’t hesitate to write them an email thanking them for their time, and, of course, make sure to include something specific you spoke about to jog their memory about who you are! The Michigan Fashion Media Summit is drawing in some of the most talented and driven students and industry professionals in the country; how are you going to network efficiently and make yourself stand out?

Brian Zhao