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The chance to craft a large and varied professional network is a big draw for would-be PGDM students looking to advance their career. Hence, it would help them a good deal to know how to make the most of their PGDM alumni network.

PGDM Networking Tip: Start With Who You Already Know
Classmates, faculty and alumni are an invaluable source of advice, guidance, and can facilitate introductions to employers. But students should start with who they already know. This is important because we often underestimate the value of friends, family, work colleagues, clients and classmates.

To build interesting conversations, students should ask them about their professional experience and also find out what they know about you. This may surprise you. Once done, you must use that information to reflect on how you want others to see you, what genuinely motivates you, and the knowledge and skills you want from the PGDM course.

Networking In The PGDM Classroom (And Beyond)
The diverse and dynamic PGDM classroom is a wonderful place to expand your existing network. The variety of backgrounds, geographies and cultures means broad relationships are built during the program that last forever.

Graduates are also an exceptionally useful resource. Alumni are generally receptive because they were once here trying to do the same thing.

It is recommended that students reach out to alumni working in their target companies or industries and ask them to share their story. The trigger is getting them to talk about themselves. There is also the nostalgia element and alumni would want to give back to their alma mater.

Here, it is important to remember that “Persistence is important and building a network takes time.” No does not mean no; it means not right now. It is suggested that in another 10 days or so, you should send another email, but do not make them feel bad for not responding.

Also remember that it is important to ask good questions, listen attentively and to stay in touch. You should share articles that might interest them, and updates about your own PGDM experience. It is oft said that “you will not get a return unless you invest in the network.”

Many agree on this. They say that you should also think about what the person you are speaking to is gaining from the interaction. This is because you are building a relationship and it is not a one-off transaction. And the key to good networking is personalizing your outreach.

Business schools like Asian Business School (ABS), Noida themselves utilize their networks by inviting employers to meet students at events on campus, such as business plan competitions, or to deliver guest lectures or collaborate on research with academics. It is advised that students should attend as many campus events as possible. This is because business connections actually turn out to be very important.

Business schools also offer guidance through dedicated career coaches. Some top B-schools, for example, run “personal impact” workshops to ensure students present the best possible versions of themselves online and in person.

Confidence is key. For those who find networking awkward, pitching their career goal in front of their classmates and business school staff can actually help them to relax and find the right things to say.

Increase Your Reach With LinkedIn & Other Social Networks
Today, technology is changing how PGDM students network. LinkedIn, for example, is a useful tool to establish contacts quickly, conduct research and showcase work.

As we all can see, there is more and more interaction online. LinkedIn, for example, is now an essential tool for professional networking and job hunting.

In many ways, engaging with interest groups builds credibility and visibility. Indeed, social media allows you to build a personal portfolio beyond your CV and showcase a variety of skills via film, presentations, TED Talks.

Moreover, business schools run their own digital networking platforms, connecting thousands of their alumni in multiple countries around the world. A few graduates keep their profiles updated, so extra research may be required here.

Online platforms seem unlikely to match the close bonds formed through networking in person, but they are a good starting point. The same rules of engagement apply here too – viz., cultivating and sustaining a fruitful network requires thoughtfulness, persistence and hard graft!