I think for building or doing good networking it always helps to have a good context or a background. It could be in the form of an event, a reference from a friend or a business associate or even your Dad’s best friend!!!
The point being for building meaningful relationships with someone new, it always helps to ride on a common platform! In my personal experience one of the networks which has always come in handy and I must confess, I’m still to realize its full potential is the Alumni Network. So whether its the alumni of your school, college or any other training institute that you have been part off. Connecting and re-connecting with your alumni members can go a long way in building meaningful relationships and fulfilling some of your networking objectives.
So why Alumni? Members of any Alumni network always have a special emotional connect with the institute and the folks who have been part of it. Alumni network’s bring to the table an extremely interesting group of people spanning divers backgrounds and careers. At my school alumni events I have meet investment bankers, filmmakers, entrepreneurs, corporate honchos, actors, creative folks and the list goes on and on…
So how can you re-connect with your Alumni and actually build long term relationships??
- Start with your batch mates, reconnect with them on face book and linkedin. Not much effort and lots of relevant folks to connect with
- Search for existing alumni groups of your institutes on linkedin or face book join them and participate on those groups.
- Build a strong connection with your institute, figure out what’s going on there, what does the institute need? Is it guest lectures, events, funding/grants etc. Post these updates on the linkedin group or facebook page.
- Try to organize alumni meets or events, get other volunteers from your batch and try an organize and annual alumni if not be done already. Being in the fore front of organizing alumni meets is a great way to be recognized for your efforts and be the face of the alumni network.
- If a group does not already exist for your batch or for your institute. Create one on linkedin/Face book and start by inviting your batch mates, ask them to spread the word and get others on the group. If you are quick and can build up a community which is fast and engaging you will be the King!!
In short explore your “Alumni Network”, you will be surprised to know what folks are up to and how much they have accomplished. And you don’t have to be part of an IIT/IIM pedigree to have an excellent alumni network!
No matter what phase of life or what kind of help you need, chances are there will be someone in your alumni who you can connect with I must add however a word of caution, for any successful networking or attempt to build a relationship don’t always push your own agenda. See how you can help others and trust me you will be rewarded, as they say do your “Karma”.
So go ahead do your “Karma” for your alumni and reap the rewards…
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