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Branch Out: Join us for Networking Night at DelVal

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Posted on April 15, 2015 by Celina Burgueño '16.

Courtesy: Delaware Valley University Dr. Brosnan, Jade Orth ’15, Celina Burgueño ’16, Bill Dougherty ’69, and Mariah Beaver ’15.

As a student leader and president of National Residence Hall Honorary (NRHH), it's my job to encourage students to focus on their professional development. Sometimes, this involves convincing other students that networking is not what they think. The general impression about networking is that it is intimidating and difficult.

Not only do you have to approach someone and carry on a conversation with a complete stranger, but you have to make that conversation mean something in terms of your future. The good news is that I have some experience to share!

Freshman year, when I became the alumni engagement liaison for Student Government Board, this was my biggest challenge. How was I supposed to engage a stranger in a short chat that wouldn’t seem insincere or an obvious plug for my future? Here’s what I have learned since then: people who come to networking events (alumni in particular) want to learn about students’ experiences and goals.

If they can help you, they would like to connect you with someone and help with that next step to the perfect career. I have discovered the most valuable lesson of my life. To succeed, you have to, as I put it, “own the awkward.” Stack some hors d'oeuvres on that plate, grab a napkin, and blaze the path to the nearest employer.

Blow her away with the firmness in your handshake. Blind him with the dazzle in your smile. Light up the room with the fire of your personality. If grand gestures aren’t your thing, just sidle up to the nearest table and listen in. Networking nights are for you to learn from the stories of others, talk about yourself, and walk away knowing that, no matter how awkward you may have felt, you took a step in the right direction in connecting with others.

This year’s Branch Out Networking Night will be held Wednesday, April 29 at The Market. We’re making it easier for students to learn the valuable lesson of networking. Not only is the event drop-in/out from 5:30 to 8:00 p.m. to work with students' schedules, but this year’s NRHH members are going to be serving as Networking Guides. Students who are anxious about approaching alumni will be able to find an NRHH member to serve as a wingman. All that’s left now is to register for your spot at:

http://tinyurl.com/spring2015branchout

Check out the Branch Out Promo video (featuring faculty, staff and students) at:

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pogVrE-JxnY