On May 12th, I was asked to host a Live Webinar on #Networking with 80 university students across Canada as an AIESEC Canada alumni. Before I joined AIESEC, I was terrified of meeting with and talking to adult business people. I found the concept of networking to be intimidating because I lacked confidence in initiating conversations that were “not awkward”.
Fortunately, I decided to face my fear in my second year of university and joined a Business Development team in which cold calling strangers and meeting hiring managers were part of the job description. This real world exposure made me realize that managers and business professionals were people too.
When I started my first corporate job as a co-op student at Husky Energy, I set the goal to meet with every single manager on my IT org chart to learn about the different teams that existed. However, I ended up learning so much more beyond the operations. I learned about some of the most interesting and impressive career paths that people have taken to get to where they are today… I received a lot of great advice about personal and professional development (that I try to share on this blog)… and I learned that that networking is not meant to be about you, but it’s about the other person and having a genuine curiosity.
To date, I am so lucky that I met incredible people who made me more self aware and confident in myself. It is crazy to think that in 3 years, I went from a nervous student who was terrified of talking to adult business people to a much more confident young professional who has met with dozens of managers and C-suite executives around the world!
In the external version of my webinar presentation below, I share some of my tips for meeting new people, having interesting conversations with them, and adding value to others: