Whether you're trying to get an internship, land a job or even just learn more about a specific field, networking is the way to do that in the world of finance.
Here are five tips for people in finance to level up their networking ✌️
This one of the most important, but overlooked pieces of advice there is when it comes to networking (so much so that you'll see it over and over again in our blog posts 😉). As simple as it sounds, it's very hard to do. Most people network when the opportunity presents itself, but this isn't efficient at all. The best networkers plan ahead.
Even a simple plan like reaching out to 3 people per week is a great start and much better than just winging it. Over time you can even start building on top of your plans and getting more advanced. Example: Reach out to 9 people, 3 people that are financial analysts, 3 people that work at Credit Suisse and 3 people that work at Google.
If you plan ahead, you'll know if you are networking enough or not meeting your own expectations (and need to re-strategize)
You may not realize it, but you've been networking your whole life. It's very likely that somebody you went to high school or college with is working at the same place you're trying to go, you just need to look and then reach out.
It's easier to start networking with someone that you know but haven't spoken to in a long time than a complete stranger. There's a high chance that they'll actually be happy that you reached out. One of the best, and most overlooked, ways to improve your network is to periodically check LinkedIn and see who works at companies you're interested in. It could be that one of your old college friends just got a job as a financial analyst at the company you've been applying to.
The last thing you wanna do is make someone feel like you don't actually care about learning about their job or their life, and that's exactly what happens if you go into a conversation with the expectation of getting a job or a referral. People don't like to feel used.
It's OK if that's one of your intentions, but it shouldn't be the goal of a conversation. If you go into a conversation with the intention of trying to learn as much as you can about another person, that person will open up much more. If somebody is open to you, it's the perfect way to kickoff a relationship.
There's a big difference between a relationship and a contact.
Have you ever had a conversation with someone and you can tell that all they want to do is leave? It's not a good feeling.
If you reach out to someone and want some of their time, make sure that it's somebody you genuinely want to be talking to. Don't just schedule a conversation for the sake of having a conversation. You should have specific reasons that you want to talk to somebody (and ideally more than one).
Reaching out to someone because they work in New York as a financial analyst for Goldman Sachs is better than reaching out to somebody just because they work at an Investment Bank. You'll likely have a great conversation with somebody that works in a city you want to work in, holds a role you are interested in and works at a company you want to work for.
If you network a lot, you won't be able to keep track of all the people and interactions you've had. And more importantly, you won't remember to always follow up. We use a calendar to keep track of all of our future events, why not a tool to keep track of our network.
If you truly want to level up your networking during your MBA program, a personal CRM is an in valuable tool to do that.
It lets you truly remember everything, capture intimate details to bring you closer to people, and remind you to always follow up and cultivate those relationships.
Check out Mogul, a beautiful and easy to use personal CRM that hundreds of people use every day to level up their networking.