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UB holds 'Networking for introverts'

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Meredith Morrell was once unable to network because she was too overwhelmed by the amount of people at a conference.

Morrell considers herself to be an introvert, or someone who gets her energy from being alone. This part of her personality is what makes it so difficult to network.

Networking is a necessary evil for many students looking to pursue a career as soon as they graduate. The small talk and the shameless self-promotion can be awkward for some, and Career Services' Networking for Introverts presentation is one method for students who need extra assistance.

Morrell, a graduate student, presented the Networking for Introverts program Tuesday in the Student Union to help others network.

“Presenting really put everything into context for me,” Morrell said. “Doing this and knowing that I helped people to make connections makes it all worth it.”

Morrell started with a discussion about what being introverted is and how introverts have a hard time making connections and networking. She went on to talk about why networking is important and how making these connections can really lead to a potential job.

Jennifer Zou, a junior business major, has attended the sessions before.

“I wouldn’t say that it helped me to go out and network more, but it’s something I knew I needed to go to for myself,” Zou said. “The tips are really helpful.”

Morrell had audience members engage in the program, including practice interviews and getting to know others who attended the event. She explained how interacting with one another in this smaller setting could help facilitate interactions with potential connections.

Morrell also spoke about using the Internet as a tool, particularly LinkedIn. She demonstrated how to make new connections, how to find people who could potentially help with a career and how to make your profile look more appealing. She focused on using the UB website and how easy it is to find others to connect with. The Internet is an easy place for introverts, since it doesn’t require so many face-to-face interactions with others.

UB also has resources for those who have a hard time networking, including other presentations like this and tools on the Career Services website that help with networking skills. These workshops are designed to help this specific type of student when networking and are tailored to encourage interaction at an attainable level. Introvert-centered programs have been more popular around UB, according to Morrell, because they are a group that needs help and can easily be targeted for programming.

Nick Curcio, a junior psychology major, joined the group for the first time and thought that the ideas were helpful.

“I think it’s interesting to hear these ideas and [Meredith] speaks really well,” Curcio said. “I’m definitely going to remember these when I network again.”

The event was relatively crowded with students who were looking for advice about networking. Morrell ended her presentation with a story about a time that she’s failed at networking as well as a time that she succeeded, encouraging those who came to the session to try networking.

“You don’t have to speak to everyone,” Morrell said. “But if you speak to a couple people and make a few new connections, you’ve made progress.”

Tori Roseman is the senior features editor and can be reached at tori.roseman@ubspectrum.com.


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