The Student’s Guide To Networking Without Selling Your Soul

Be yourself! But like, a responsible version of yourself.

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A sad truth about the ~real world~ that we’re still coming to terms with is this: unfortunately, it really is about who you know. As icky as it might make you feel, you gotta turn your schmooze on, baby.

So, you’ve signed up to a networking event. How do you make connections and get to know all the right people in your industry without feeling fake? Is there a way to convince people you understand blockchain without sounding like a total knob? Oh yes. Read on.

#1 Find A Buddy!

It’s a lonely world, the corporate boardroom. Best to strong-arm your one uni mate into going to the event with you. BONUS: you can mutual eye-roll later about the obnoxious private school white boy who talked over everyone else.

#2 Don’t Be The Obnoxious Private School White Boy Who Talks Over Everyone Else

This can still be you even if you a) aren’t white or b) aren’t a boy or c) a beneficiary of the public school system. Be nice to everyone— not just the CEO or the partner you want to impress.

#3 Introduce Yourself To People

This is why you’re there. Grab a vino or some sparking water (oh, you fancy!) so you have something to do with your hands and march up to someone and say, “HEY”. Or just like a really casual, “Heeeeyyyy”. What’s the worst that can happen?

#4 Ask Questions

Be curious. Ask people what they do, and how they got to where they are now. People LOVE talking about themselves. A bit of flattery doesn’t hurt either. 

#5 Know That You Have Nothing To Lose

No one cares if you’re awkward or don’t have anything to say. Zilch. Not an iota. The first time I went to one of these, I left feeling pretty average. I didn’t land my dream job, or even have any really great chats. But that’s OK. This isn’t an assignment. You can’t do badly.

#6 Indulge In The Canapes

Live a little! You’re probably heading home to a temperamental share house oven and some wilted broccoli. Indulge in a lil savoury tart or three. But pace yourself. Do not, and I mean DO NOT end up in the situation where you have aforementioned lil savoury tart in one hand and a drink in the other and instead of shaking someone’s hand you just have to smile and shrug painfully at them while kind of motioning with your elbow. #liveforthecanapes

#7 Enjoy It

You might actually meet some cool people. Some of the best conversations I had were with other students, not even necessarily the employers or HR people at these events. Same interests, similar stage of your degree… Who says you can’t make friends at uni?!


You is kind, you is smart, you is important. Do YOU. There’s no point pretending you’re fluent in Finnish because we all know how well that worked out for Isla Fisher in Confessions of a Shopaholic. So be yourself. But like, a responsible version of yourself. Talk about your interests, just don’t tell your future boss how #loose you got on the weekend and how you’re still hungover. On a Tuesday.

Now you have it. Network away, my pretties. Don’t feel like you have to compromise on who you are to score that awesome gig.

Divya likes puppies, has a complicated coffee order and her favourite month is September, partly because of the nice temperature but mainly because Green Day are all asleep.

(Lead image: The Good Place/NBC)