Networking is an amazing tool. It can be used to find new career, volunteer opportunities and professional and personal connections. So, what does successful networking look like? Consider the story of two Minnesota School of Business-Blaine (MSB) graduates, Nancy Yang and Eva Leavitt.
“When Eva was in my project management class, we discussed how the power of networking adds information to the supply and demand forces of a free market,” said John Daley, information technology program chair at MSB-Blaine. “Using LinkedIn and other networking tools, I encouraged Eva to connect with people in a position that interested her and determine if they could serve as a kind of mentor for her.”
Eva Leavitt, MSB-Blaine graduate, was also in a class with Catherine Rice, accounting program chair at MSB-Blaine.
“I received an email from Catherine Rice letting me know that a student in one of her classes mentioned that her company was looking for someone in payroll. After reading her email, I researched the company more and decided I would apply. I also texted one of my friends to let them know of the possible job opportunity, and she let me know her husband was the payroll manager there. My friend told me to email her my resume and she would forward it onto her husband,” Leavitt said. “Later that morning I received an email from the payroll manager letting me know that my email was forwarded to the owner. Shortly after that, I was called in for an interview and eventually hired.”
“It’s actually all thanks to Catherine Rice that my workplace has been able to fulfill an open payroll position. Because of the growth in our payroll department, the owner of the business had started looking for individuals, preferably someone with some experience and a payroll background. After several fall outs with finding someone, however, he turned to his employees for references. Stating that his experience in the past with those who were referred by someone within the business had tended to be better candidates, that it was okay, in this case, if the referred individual did not have experience,” Nancy Yang, MSB-Blaine graduate, said.
“Though I did not know very many accounting students, I took the opportunity to ask Catherine, and that is how Eva and I are now co-workers. It’s a pretty busy time right now, as I’m sure it is in any other accounting firm as well, hence we have not had much time to get to know each other, but Eva is very welcomed here, and has been a great contributor in holding the fort down since she have started,” Yang said.
“Eva showed passion for payroll accounting while in class with me. Eva’s attention to detail and interest and knowledge of payroll laws and regulations led me to think of her while speaking with Nancy,” added Catherine Rice. “With Nancy’s and Eva’s permissions, I connected the students with each other.”
Both John Daley and Catherine Rice agree that the power of networking can lead to great things. Never discount your personal and professional connections and never be afraid to ask for help. You just might get exactly what you’re looking for.