On Monday, March 28th, the Harrisburg campus Student Bar Association
and the campus chapter of the Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity
co-sponsored a two-hour event on Networking Essentials for Business Relationships featuring Lynne Briel from the Professional Edge, Inc. in York, PA.
The event - held in the reception area of the administration building – was set up as a business dinner, and both wine and hors d’oeuvres were served. The students participated in simulated situations similar to what they might face at an actual business dinner. Some of the situations included practicing a proper handshake, introducing others to the conversation, and creating an “elevator speech.”
Briel explained to the students that a first impression is made in the first 5 – 15 seconds upon meeting someone new, and therefore it is important to maintain proper posture and to be polite. She then provided students with seven tips to remember while attending a networking event.
The first tip was not to be intimidated. In order to meet new people, it is important to leave your friends and break into groups. Second, she also recommended setting a goal before arriving at the event. She told the students to ask themselves, “What do you want to happen here?”
The third important tip she gave was to make sure to have the right tools. It is important to place a nametag on the right side and to have business cards handy. She recommended that ladies keep their business cards in an easy to reach location and to avoid digging through their purse to retrieve business cards.
She also explained that it is important to make a grand entrance. This includes having an erect posture, smiling, and keeping your hands visible. While it is appropriate to eat and drink at events, it is important to limit the intake of food and beverages while speaking. She stated that one should always keep their left hand free so that they can shake hands easily. Finally, she stressed the important of following up after the event – sending an email, placing a phone call, sending a thank you letter, or meeting for coffee.
Danielle Vayda, Professional Committee Chairperson of Phi Alpha Delta, said, “Those in attendance not only learned a great deal about the proper way to network, but they were able to practice what they learned while under the guidance of a networking guru. I believe the event was a success because all of the students agreed they had learned something new to utilize while networking throughout their professional careers.”