Networking 101

Networking can sometimes seem daunting and even stressful, especially if you haven’t done it before. It can be difficult to know which relationships to form and how to start them. However, a professional network is extremely helpful and rewarding. Whether you have yet to start a conversation or just feel a little shy putting yourself out there, reading this article will hopefully lead you to build a strong network in no time.

When it comes to networking in person at events like Business Horizons or on treks, the first important thing to remember is that everyone is a little shy at first. If you’ve never tried to build your professional network, of course, you won’t be a pro at first. It might take a little time to learn which questions to ask or how to start conversations in general. Start with an introduction and find common ground. By finding something in common with the person, you form a connection. Asking a couple genuine, get-to-know-you questions before diving into the career ones will help to build a relationship that will last beyond your conversation at the event.

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Ask the right questions. It’s best to prepare thoughtful questions you would like to ask before a networking event, to make the conversation more interesting and meaningful to both parties involved. Write them down in a notebook or padfolio so you can reference them while you are having the conversation.

LinkedIn is a great tool for networking. If you haven’t already, make an account! It takes a few minutes and is simple to use. After you speak with someone at an event, make sure to connect with them on LinkedIn. This is great for staying connected with all of your peers.

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Stay in touch. Your professional network is like a plant; it doesn’t grow overnight and needs nurturing to flourish. Try to meet up with people in your network to continue the relationship and build a stronger bond. Meet up for coffee, ask for help with your resume, or get advice for “firsts” in your professional career once you’ve got a job.

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Having a professional network has many benefits. Utilize relationships you currently have and brainstorm how you can build other relationships off of those. Always keep an open mind and make sure to keep those connections on hand for when you may need them. Who knows, maybe a relationship you’re building right now will help you to get your first job or a promotion later in your career!

Make sure to come out to the Accenture Business Horizons Workshop and Protiviti Networking Event on September 4th to practice your networking! The other CWIB members in attendance will be glad to offer any advice and guidance we can!

 

Start the Year Off Strong

How to Start the Year Off Strong NEW

Welcome back to Blacksburg, CWIB!

I hope each of you had fun, productive, and relaxing summer! Now that the days of beach trips and summer jobs are over, it’s time to turn our attention back to school. I know a lot of you are going to be juggling tough school schedules, part-time jobs, extra-curricular activities, and job searching. To help you start the year off strong, I have a few tips for all of you:

  1. Start Scheduling– Once you receive all of your syllabi and any other documents containing important dates, write them down somewhere. Having these dates laid out for you will help you easily keep track of your future exams, project deadlines, meetings, etc. You can utilize a traditional planner or the modern Google calendar to help you organize all of these dates. Whatever method you choose, make sure it’s one that you see yourself keeping up with!
  2. Don’t Fall Behind On Work– Syllabus week is arguably the most relaxed week of the semester. Just because this time is not busy, doesn’t mean you should just lay around and watch Netflix all day. Stay on top of the homework that’s assigned and if you have time, get ahead. As the semester starts to pick up, you’re going to have more things added to your plate. Don’t bring more stress upon yourself by slacking off on homework now because it will catch up with you!
  3. Get Into a Routine– Adapting a daily routine increases productivity because you get used to doing certain things in a certain order, which minimizes laziness. Get up at a reasonable time, prepare for your day, then go at it! Of course, things come up that may alter your schedule, but forming a steady routine will help you stay focused during the week so you can continuously complete the tasks you have to get done.
  4. Learn About More Opportunities The beginning of the semester is the best time to join new clubs and programs. Whether you go to a big event like Pamplin Picnic (which is THIS Friday at 4 PM!) or stop by the numerous booths around campus, don’t be afraid to learn about opportunities that interest you. Virginia Tech does a great job at providing students with a variety of organizations that aim to help students achieve their goals. Do this now instead of at the end of the semester!
  5. Find Some Time To Relax– I know that all my previous tips have emphasized being productive, but it is important to maintain a work-life balance as well. Make sure to leave some time for yourself every day to do something that you love. Watch an episode (or two!) of your current Netflix show, get dinner with your friends, or go on a long walk. Taking time for yourself is essential for your mental health, so make sure to work it into your day as well.

I hope that you found these tips to be helpful to you and that you choose to adopt at least one of them! Make sure to stay up-to-date with the CWIB Chronicles throughout the semester for more beneficial articles like these! If you want to read about anything specific, feel free to reach out to the team!

Good luck this year, CWIB! You are all going to do great!

 

What I Learned From Studying Abroad

For many of us, studying abroad is an experience we hope to fit into our schedules at some point in our college careers. Knowing I had little room in my schedule to study abroad for an entire semester, I decided to take advantage of a summer study abroad program this summer! With six other Pamplin College of Business students and our advisor, I traveled to major cities in China this May and June, visiting businesses, universities, and cultural sites. Whether you are already planning to study abroad or are considering it, I’m here to offer three valuable benefits that I have taken away from my experience.

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1) Exposure to the business world of a foreign country

As future business professionals, working abroad or with international clients/customers is a strong possibility for many of us during our careers. Taking the opportunity to learn about the business world abroad is a great way to gain that international business exposure before graduating. Some things cannot be taught within the walls of a classroom, so think about traveling to a different country and learning in a real international setting. You may even form a connection that leads to an internship or full-time job opportunity!

2) Getting out of your comfort zone

College is a time to take risks and experience new things. Studying abroad can be a great way to do those things. During this unique experience, you get to immerse yourself in a completely different culture for an extended period of time, encouraging you to practice your independence and try new things. When you are in a different country, you are surrounded by places, people, and events foreign to the ones you have at home. You are bound to learn something new at every moment. Once you’ve conquered living and studying in a foreign country, taking risks back at home may seem less intimidating!

3) The opportunity to travel in an organized, group setting

Once we start full-time careers, fitting international travel into our schedules may not be the easiest or most realistic of tasks. Take advantage of semesters with fewer credits or vacations to do a study abroad program. Studying abroad in college allows us to travel with a group of people with similar interests and visit destinations on our bucket lists; it’s like an extravagant, prolonged field trip!
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Studying abroad isn’t for everyone, but if it’s something you’ve always wanted to do or are just now interested in, I would encourage you to research programs offered online, attend study abroad fairs, visit the Global Education office right off campus, and talk to your advisor about the best programs for your major and academic plan!

July Recap

Check out this recap on everything that happened in July!

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Thank you for checking out The CWIB Chronicles! We hope you all are having a fantastic summer; it is hard to believe that there is only one month left until the first day of classes! This summer has been flying by, but don’t worry; if you missed anything from The CWIB Chronicles this July, here is all the information you need to know.

CWIB Chronicles Articles:

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Work Bag Essentials – In Abby’s article, she interviews CWIB members to get the scoop on what items you should always keep in your work bag. Ranging from neutral lipstick to band-aids, and even business cards, I made sure to put a few of these items into my own personal bag. If you are looking for a way to feel prepared and confident at work, give this one a read!

#FeatureFriday – Check out these posts showcasing your fellow CWIB members:

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Not only is Heather Sangalang rocking it as the Editor-in-Chief of The CWIB Chronicles, but she is also working as an Internal Audit & Financial Advisory Intern for Protiviti this summer. We are so proud of her for working to serve her clients with her team at Protiviti and leading her own team here at The CWIB Chronicles!
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Tori Pollard will be making a difference as well by having the time of her life this summer in La Marche, Italy! A rising junior, she will be a camp counselor there for about five weeks and one of her duties includes teaching children how to speak English. We can’t wait to hear about her adventures!

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Sydney Woodward is making the most of her summer! She has used her networking skills to secure an externship with Yeskie Buie, a financial planning firm, where she will be shadowing a fellow Hokie in August. In the meantime, she will be working as a bank teller for Union Bank. This finance major knows how to prepare!

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CWIB members, you are going to hear Rajni Kapania’s name a lot this year because she is our new VP of Membership! A rising senior, this summer she is working as a marketing intern for Actualize Consulting in McLean, Virginia. Her summer isn’t all work though, she is also an officer for the Student Hip Hop Legacy.

#MotivationMonday – Glance back at the quotes that have been keeping us motivated this July!

As we head into August, get ready to receive a couple of newsletters filled with exciting information as we prepare to begin the 2018-2019 school year!

Thank you for reading our last round-up for the summer! If you would like to be placed on CWIB’s ListServ, please email cwibchronicles@gmail.com. Also, make sure to check out our social media accounts to stay up-to-date on everything going on in the organization:

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Work Bag Essentials

How are your summers going, CWIB?! If you are working this summer, this post is for you! To make those nine-to-fives a little more bearable, it’s important to bring items to work with you that are essential to a great day. We asked Gigi Jones, Morgan Beavers, Heather Sangalang, and Pooja Devarakonda for some of their work bag must-haves and here is what they said:

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Water bottle: Bringing one every day helps your body and the environment. Heather Sangalang says, “It’s important to stay hydrated so I bring my [reusable] water bottle to work. My office has a water dispenser so [bringing my own water bottle] is better than using a bunch of plastic bottles.”

Notebook & pen: No matter what you’re doing at work, Heather thinks it’s always a good idea to keep a notebook and pen close by for jotting down notes and important details.  

Tide-To-Go: There’s nothing worse than a stain right on the front of your white button up. This stain remover pen is perfect for those “oops” moments, according to Heather Sangalang and Morgan Beavers.

Neutral lipstick: A good lipstick has Heather feeling confident in the office; her current favorite is Mac Whirl!

Snacks: Gigi Jones opts for “a granola bar or a piece of fruit, which can be great pick-me-ups during the day instead of coffee.”

Sandals: Walking around in heels all day can be exhausting– and painful! And for that, Pooja Devarakonda keeps an extra pair of sandals in her purse.

Band-Aids: After walking around in those painful heels a few band-aids might be needed. “Us working women walk a lot so you’ll never know when you or a friend might need them!” Gigi says.

Portable Charger: Both Gigi and Pooja agree that you wouldn’t want to run out of battery on a busy day.

Mirror + Backup Makeup: To make sure you’re still looking professional throughout the day, Pooja suggests carrying a mirror to keep an eye on those flyaways and extra makeup for a quick touch-up.

Business Cards: You never know who you’ll run into at lunch or in the office. For the sake of networking, Pooja always has a couple of business cards on hand.

If you haven’t considered tossing a few of these items in your work bag already, maybe it’s time to! It’s always a good idea to be prepared so you can keep calm and *carry* on. What are your work bag essentials?

June Recap

Welcome to the new CWIB Chronicles!

Welcome to the new CWIB Chronicles, a weekly resource for the members of Collegiate Women in Business at Virginia Tech and the greater business community. With each post, we aim to empower, prepare and connect readers with valuable content to help launch and propel their business careers.

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With summer in full swing, we hope you are enjoying your internships, jobs, travels, and any other exciting activities. Hopefully, you have been able to find yourself some relaxation time too!

Here is anything you might have missed from The CWIB Chronicles or CWIB on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter during the month of June! Also, have you heard the news? Collegiate Women in Business at Virginia Tech now has a page on LinkedIn

CWIB Chronicles Articles:

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No Internship, No Problem – Stressed about not having an internship this summer? There are lots of other ways to gain valuable experience and discover your strengths and interests over the summer. Check out Cara’s ideas for making the most out of your summer without an internship!

#FeatureFriday – Check out these posts showcasing your fellow CWIB members:

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Megha Jassal, a rising junior, will gain invaluable skills by participating in externships and serving as an orientation leader this summer. She has worked with Baker Tilly, KPMG, Protiviti, and EY and will be interning with KPMG’s Federal Advisory and IT sector next summer!

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Sara Khorramshahgol, a rising junior, will work heavily with technology supporting the federal government as a Federal Technology Intern at Deloitte this summer.

#MotivationMonday – Glance back at the quotes that have been keeping us motivated this June!

 

 

What have you all been up to this month?

No Internship, No Problem

As a college student, there is one constant fear looming over our heads – what the heck am I going to do after I graduate? With this thought comes the desperation to build up our resumes with anything that will make us a desirable candidate for our desired companies. One of the most common ways to do this is through summer internships.

Summer internships are obviously incredibly useful. They give us experience in our desired career field and allow us to network with industry professionals. However, the internship search has become an incredibly stressful process, and many students believe they need to have these experiences every summer so they can be an attractive candidate to future employers.

Is it really the end of the world if you do not have a summer internship? Definitely not! There are so many things you can do during the summer besides an internship that will allow you to build your professional toolbox! Here are just a few examples:

1. Work a regular summer job – Whether it is waitressing, babysitting, or working in retail, summer jobs will help build various skills. Jobs like this put you in the position to learn about the most important thing in the business world – how to deal with people! You will consistently be put in different situations where you have to solve problems on your own to keep clients happy. One of the things employers most look for in a candidate is empowerment- are you confident enough to do the right thing on your own?

 

2. Volunteer – More and more companies are starting to place a higher importance on service and giving back to the community. Companies are not only looking for great employees but great people! Volunteer opportunities can also help you figure out what you are passionate about and what your values are. When searching for a full-time job, you can look for one that not only aligns with your professional goals but your personal values as well!

3. Take the summer off – You have the rest of your life to work, so you do not need to be in a rush to figure your future out so soon. Spend time with your family and friends, travel, or simply stay home and relax! Sometimes the most important thing you can do for yourself is taking the time to figure out what you really want.

If you did not get your dream internship this summer, do not worry! Internships are not the defining factor in whether you get a full-time job or not. Your four years of college are all about finding the path that is best for you.