Club & Greek

Speed Networking, Three Minutes with a Professional

The International Business Network (IBN) hosted their first speed networking event this past Tuesday, February 12, from 5:00pm to 7:00 pm on the second floor of the Rebecca Stafford Student Center in Anacon Hall. 20 professionals from various businesses arrived at 4:45 pm prepared to network with students.

Upon arrival each student picked up their information packets and nametags. In these information packets, each student was assigned a position of where to begin the speed networking process. Students were then matched up to a professional for three minutes. The three minute period consisted of introductions and brief interactions.

Professionals were given the opportunity to ask students interview questions, examine resumes and then respond with honest feedback on communication skills, resume building tips and professionalism. At the end of the three minutes a bell rang and students were told to switch to the next seat. Students were encouraged to ask for business cards and ask the professionals for their feedback. The process continued until each student had the opportunity to meet with eight professionals.

“Nineteen of the 38 students that attended this event are on course to graduate in May 2013. Two students that attended this event were graduate level students,” said Amber Brown a member of the International Business Network.

 Paul Savoth, a business law professor at the University said, “People judge you on many different factors when they meet you and interview with you, some students have the natural ability to walk into an interview and be confident, yet events like this can really help less confident students excel.”

Savoth also noted, “First reactions are everything in interviews.” He urged students to make an impression and said that he would react honestly. “I am just going to try and show students ways to somehow become more aware of what they are doing in interviews. After interviewing and talking to someone about yourself for the eighth or ninth time, students are more likely to be more relaxed and will be more likely to portray who they really are as individuals.”

Deborah Mannix, a financial advisor for Morgan Stanley, said, “This was a great opportunity for the students to experience the interviewing process across a wide range of industries.”

Joe Rice, Vice President of The Blackhawk Network, said, “Another great benefit from events such as this, are that they give students access to network with professionals in the area.”

Companies such as Prudential, American Oil and Supply, Enterprise Holdings, Morgan Stanley, Verizon Wireless, Monmouth University Career Services, JFK Medical Center and The Wildlife Conservation Society attended this event.

Marianna Bonato, senior and President of the International Business Network said, “Providing students with networking opportunities while in school allows them to connect with professionals who could potentially become their future employers. The purpose [of speed networking] is to expose students to a situation they will have to experience when searching for a job or an internship, and hopefully the connections they have made in the process will be useful for their future endeavors.”

 “This was the first time that the International Business Network hosted this event and we hope that in the future there are more professionals and students involved,” said Megan Holt, a senior studying international business.

The International Business Network is a University wide undergraduate organization for students that are planning to pursue a global career.

The organization seeks to promote events for students in order to have networking opportunities with successful professionals and alumni. IBN is fairly new to campus, and introduced speed networking as its main event for the 2012-2013 academic year, according to Bonato.

The lead academic advisor of the International Business Network is Dr. Susan Gupta. Gupta said, “This organization has only been around since the 2011-2012 school year. Even though this is the first time we have done an event like this, we try to have other events, such as networking and professional events.”

Prior to the event, Stephen Spinella, a senior studying business said, “I hope to get more networking skills out of this event and that professionals attending the event can help pick out some of my interviewing flaws.”

Jennie Albanese is a senior studying business and marketing and attended the event for a class requirement. She said, “I hope to gain both positive and negative feedback on my interviewing and resume skills.”

This event was planned with a collaborative effort of Bonato, Gupta, and Deborah Mannix, a Monmouth University alumna and member of the business council at the University.

Bonato said, “I was extremely pleased with the turnout since all of these professionals were volunteering their time, and most came to the event straight from work. The time they invested in the students did not go unnoticed and I’m tremendously thankful for their participation.”

“It was a great experience to learn from professionals who interview people every day in the work force. You can learn a lot from being open to feedback and receptive to criticism,” said Ryan Forrest, a senior studying business.