Networking Best Practices for Students

Networking Best Practices for Students

Be Prepared

  • Before attending the event, update your digital networking platforms and delete outdated information
  • Utilize CPD Staff and Peer advisors to get advice on scrubbing or updating your platforms.
  • Pick a business casual outfit that you feel comfortable yet confident in
  • Feel free to use the Clothing Closet to borrow a clothing item for the event

Know who’s in the Room

  • Review the alumni list and determine who you aim to meet
  • Set a goal for making the most out of your attendance during the networking event (“I plan to speak with four alumni to expand my network” or “I aim to ask three specific questions about a career I am not familiar with”)

Practice your Pitch

  • Be confident and inviting as you approach an Alumni and introduce yourself with your first and last name.
  • If comfortable, lead with a firm Introduce yourself using eye contact and a smile. Followed by a “nice to meet you”
  • Share your class year, major, and objective (“My goal is to balance my producing talents with my interests in marketing for a network or studio”)
  • Build and point out your (“I see that you were a Screenwriting major. I am minoring in Screenwriting. What was your favorite class here?”)

Listen more than you speak

  • Engage in conversation and allow for give and take
  • Keep the conversation open to other students and alumni to join in
  • Listen intently and take notes so that you can reflect and reference key points later

How to end the Conversation

  • Thank the alum: “Thank you for talking with me, I will be sure to take your advice and about tracking and promoting my creative projects more. I am going to get a refill on my drink. Have a great night!”
  • If you are engaged in a small group conversation, you can politely walk away when others are actively talking

Discover other Pathways

  • Ask if you can follow-up with questions or potentially meet for an informational interview
  • Thank the alum for their time/advice before excusing yourself


  • Follow up 24-48 hours after the event by email or LinkedIn (Ask the Alum’s preference)
  • Include a highlight from your conversation to remind the alum of who you are
  • Post takeaways from your experience on social media! Like and tag @emorycareercenter on Instagram and Twitter
  • Write a post on your LinkedIn and tag @EmoryUniversity to share your experience and lessons learned with your network
  • Build a relationship by asking for an informational interview or a chat over coffee

General Questions to Ask


  • What was the path you took to get to where you are today?
  • How do you integrate your creative passion into your work and life?
  • What is the most challenging thing about working in your industry?
  • What does a typical day in your life look like?
  • Did you have a mentor? How do you suggest getting one?
  • What are some essential professional lessons you’ve learned?
  • What did you do during your time at Emory that prepared you for your career?
  • What recommendations do you have for gaining experience or knowledge of your industry?
  • Can you describe the culture at (company name)?
  • What types of skills are needed for someone to be successful in your role?
  • May I follow-up with you after tonight to discuss your position and company?
  • Which industry publications do you stay on top of? Which professional associations or groups do you belong to?

Career Pathways Related Questions

  • How did you market yourself to an industry or job that typically hires from a certain area of study?
  • How did you showcase and talk about your transferrable skills?
  • How can people learn about your industry and develop necessary skills to be successful?
  • How have you navigated working environments post-grad or even when you might have interned?
  • What areas of “the industry” were you most aware of when you started pursuing your career?
  • What did you wish you would have known before creating your own company?
  • How do you balance staying true to you and your “brand” while delivering what a client or your company wants or expects of you?