Networking could make people feel a little uncomfortable sometimes, for both introverts and extroverts. Prior to Michigan China Week, the big event that I helped in May, I had not had very rewarding experience in the past. I would be awkward when encountering some alumni or recruiters, and the conversations usually are very short and somewhat dull. However, the experience during the Michigan China Week changed my interpretation of networking. Or at least, it helped to land my current internship–Public Relations Intern at MAPAAC.
While attending the opening banquet of Michigan China Week, little did I know, I was sitting next to a commissioner from the Michigan Asian Pacific American Affairs Commission (MAPAAC, I know it’s a mouthful. 😉 I guess since I wasn’t trying to ask her for a favor or a job, I was being casual and subtle. Surprisingly, it worked out for the best. We talked about where we went to school. I found out that she was also an Econ major, just like me. We found a lot of similarities between our backgrounds. These similarities helped us carry our conversation smoothly. She gave me her business card and mentioned some internship opportunities. I followed up with her the next morning.
Good networking sometimes is unintentional. If we genuinely be interested in people’s experience and background, doors open themselves. I prefer quality over quantity, but if you are someone who’s very good at encountering new people, then go for it. But keep it smooth and subtle. I still maintain a good relationship with that commissioner. Hope this helps.