The BCIT Marketing Management program provides a variety of networking opportunities for students to expand their network and speak with industry professionals. I also know that the school work load doesn’t make it any easier to make time to attend these events. But if there’s one thing you need to take advantage of at BCIT, it is definitely the networking events and here are three reasons why:
You never know who you are going to meet.
I attended a networking event for one of the school clubs when I was a first-year and met ‘Sarah’ (not her real name). Originally, I wasn’t going to attend the event since I had my Microeconomics midterm the following day, but decided last minute to go. At that time, Sarah worked for a non-profit marketing agency, and was looking for volunteers for her events. I ended up being an Event Lead for one of them, and we’ve been good friends ever since. She gives me advice on school, and helps me figure out what I want to do in marketing. Plus the fact that she is very well connected, she manages to send me to the right people if there are any questions that she can’t answer.
You never know when you’re going to need their help.
One of the marketing projects we have to do as a second year student, is to interview a past graduate and base the style off Humans of New York posts. Whoever you interview, they have to have graduated in the Marketing Communications option, and working within the marketing industry. Having the connections that I have, it was pretty easy for me to find someone. Some of my classmates however took some time to find someone to interview and I had to help them find someone through my connections. One of them even asked me how I knew this many people and I simply said, “I just joined a club!”
You actually learn how to communicate effectively.
The worst thing you can do is to attend ANY event and be awkward. Or even worse, be a fly on the wall. For the social butterflies out there, it’s super easy because you love talking to people. However for some, it can be really daunting and intimidating. If you are the latter, then I strongly recommend for you to attend as much networking events as you can. You don’t learn how to talk to people in one day, you learn by practicing. This way you will know how to read people better, know which questions to ask or not to ask, you also learn to be confident in how you present yourself. Your instructors will always tell you that as a marketer, you should always know how to market yourself.
Having connections in the industry is very valuable, but also being friends with them is an added bonus. Their connections become your own connections and all of a sudden, you are that someone who knows someone! Having a strong network not only improves your networking skills, but it also opens you to more opportunities. Even though BCIT keeps you busy, make the time to take advantage of these events and start building your network now. You never know who you will make a connection with or where that may lead you.