6 Keys To Getting Noticed (The Right Way) At Networking Events

by Jaineel Aga

This chapter is a free excerpt from The Best Book on Getting Consulting Jobs In India.

Information sessions are common on U.S. campuses, and they're a great way to learn about the company; however, the most important part of the information session is networking with the consultants, which normally follows the information session. During the networking session, we break into small groups where several Parthenon consultants are spread across the room. You can reach out to them in groups of 5 or so to network and ask specific questions that were not covered during the information session.

Here are the 6 keys to getting positive attention at networking events:


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Information sessions are common on U.S. campuses, and they're a great way to learn about the company; however, the most important part of the information session is networking with the consultants, which normally follows the information session. During the networking session, we break into small groups where several Parthenon consultants are spread across the room. You can reach out to them in groups of 5 or so to network and ask specific questions that were not covered during the information session.

Here are the 6 keys to getting positive attention at networking events:



#1. Don't come across as an extreme extrovert or introvert.

In general, you shouldn't come across either as  extremely loud or, on the other end, extremely shy and introverted. You should come across as intellectually curious, and interest them in your story. There's a way of talking about your achievements and experiences.  Don't go up to the consultants and start talking of all your amazing achievements--you should be able to spin this through a conversation that ideally starts with a question.

#2. Ask other people a little bit about themselves.

Ask about their background in consulting. If the consultant happens to be an alum from your school or your program, take tips on what types of courses helped most in consulting. While they answer these questions, you can certainly talk about your experiences if they suit the context. If it was genuinely an interesting experience, you'll see that reaction in the face of the person you're networking with. It'll score you a point, because now you've brought out your well received story; this has already put you ahead of your competition.

#3. Do your research.

Research the company you're going to network with. Occasionally, people end up at information sessions having no clue what the company does or which industry it specializes in, which are easily available on the company website! Above average preparation requires only twenty minutes of research beforehand.

#4. Devote time to internet searches.

I'd like to share a strategy I adopted that I found immensely effective. Every time I had a networking information session, I'd do several things. First, I'd devote at least half an hour before the information session to browsing through the website. Second, I'd take subscriptions to paid and unpaid services that talk about the inside scoop of these companies. Before my networking session at Parthenon,a boutique firm with only about 200 people across the world, I did a ton of research because it was my top choice.

I went onto Vault Guide and looked at some of the most high profile cases that Parthenon had worked on. Interestingly, Parthenon was involved in the merger strategy of 2 big companies in the technology space back in 2002. I read that Parthenon had advised them not to do this merger, but the company ended up doing it anyway. During the event I networked with a partner and brought up this case, because I was curious how Parthenon reflected back on this deal 6 or 7 years later. Consultants love giving you their insights.

#5. Ask an enthusiastic question, and you will get an equally enthusiastic response.

Continuing with the Parthenon example, the partner who was on campus had been involved in that same merger case. There was palpable excitement in his voice when he heard this question, even though it was a tough question for him to answer because the client had gone against his advice. I knew that I had scored a point because I had made the effort to do some research that wasn't available to the general media. He gave me a very satisfactory answer, and told me about some of the problems that they assumed that the company would face that they are in fact facing today. It was an interesting and intellectual discussion, and I knew that I had already left an impression on that partner.

#6. Take the extra step to  know your audience.

People like if you show genuine interest in their company beyond Googling it or just figuring out what they do. So what if you know that McKinsey does consulting and you want to do consulting? When I applied to BCG, I knew the presenter was a champion in change management, and simply reading up about some of their work and some of their viewpoints, structuring your questions around these topics helped them keep you in mind. The point of networking is so that when they leave the hall they have 5 or 6 in their heads of people they want to. You should aim to be one of them.

How Proper Networking Gives You Job Opportunities



The impression you leave on your recruiter is up to you, but these are some of the most effective tools in getting your name out there. During my networking event, I had quite a few great discussions with Parthenon associates and principles. On the last day of my resume deadline, I was approached by one of the consultants who contacted me and asked me why I hadn't submitted my resume yet!

This means that they had already shortlisted my resume in their head, and asked me why I hadn't turned it in yet. I told them that I had thirteen hours left and wanted to do a thorough quality check to make sure that I hadn't made any stupid mistakes.

Given that they'd never seen my resume, that networking session was a big step toward that coveted interview call!
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