A Message From the Office of Alumni Relations
The Alumni Relations office aims to foster a program that reaches, serves and engages all alumni. We share in the mutually beneficial goal of advancing UC Irvine's Paul Merage School of Business, and we seek to make the Merage School a vital partner in the lives of our alumni through strong support networks, pride, trust and involvement.
As graduates of a business school, we hear that word quite often. But not everyone really understands how important it is to not only build your network early, but carefully nurture it. As you proceed in your career, your network will become so crucial in not only managing your career, but uncovering that next opportunity, big client or great mentor.
As alumni of the Merage School, I encourage you to stay in touch, communicate and grow with us: the community of your fellow alumni from all our great programs. Whether you are a new entrepreneur building your company, a young professional seeking to accelerate your career path, or an older grad mentoring others in appreciation for past guidance received, the Merage School Alumni Network is a valuable place for building contacts and friendships.
Building basic networking skills, and using them in the right way, is key to success in this area. Here are a few things to think about before your next networking event:
Events at the Merage School are wonderful opportunities to meet other professionals who have a shared interest and to build genuine business contacts. We hope to see you soon at one of our many upcoming events!
- Craft a compelling elevator pitch: Be prepared to introduce yourself and make an impression in 30 seconds. The key is being able to succinctly describe what makes you unique and memorable.
- Stay involved: Networking is not transactional. It’s about building relationships. You’ll often see the same people time and again at alumni or industry events. Exceptional business leaders have one single talent that sets them apart from all others – their ability to develop business friendships. By connecting other people, these leaders are not asking for anything in return.
- Follow up: Your connection may start at a networking event, but the relationship is built over time. It’s important to follow up the first meeting in an appropriate fashion to keep the momentum and stay top of mind. You can achieve this by email or personal note via social media like Linkedin. Another way to stay in touch is by periodically sending important information, articles or details on a relevant, upcoming event. This demonstrates your understanding of a person’s needs and your willingness to be of service.
- Be genuine: Networking is about being genuine and authentic, building trust and relationships, and seeing how you can help others. If you wait to build your network when you need it, your desperation will show. The key is to build your network when you don’t need, because you never know when you will. It could also be said that you always need your network to be on the cutting edge of your industry.
Merage School Director, Alumni Relations