A good example of an opportunity I got because of networking happened a couple of years ago. I was in college and I didn’t know what kind of job I wanted yet. I went to a family party with my girlfriend and she introduced me to her cousin, who studied at the same university as me. He had worked in different fields and gave me a lot of advice. We talked a lot about career paths, what to do after college, and many opportunities that were out there, especially in the fields he had worked in: consultancy and investment banking. In the middle of the conversation, he asked a friend to talk to us about his job and explain to me what he was working on. He was a director in a very well-known investment bank and he was thinking about developing a summer internship program in his department. He didn’t have any formal plan yet; it was just an idea, but he needed someone to try it out. “If I make that internship happen, would you do it?” he asked.
“Of course!” I said. Even though I didn’t know anything about banks, I studied a lot and did all the exams and interviews needed to fulfill the requirements. Finally, some months later, I started working in the finance industry. In fact, that was my first experience in this sector. I went back there some months later to do another internship. Today, I still work in the financial industry and that little opportunity was essential to get me started.
If you have a networking story to share, please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.