Sara Jones, Class of 2012 and TMMBA Assistant Director
Over the years TMMBA students have created a tradition of going to The Keg for drinks after class. When I joined Class 11 I told myself I’d try to make it at least a few times per quarter. But the 1st quarter came and went and I only made it once. It was too easy to say “I’m tired” or “I’ll go next week”, and before I knew it the quarter was over. The 2nd quarter came and the same thing happened.
At the beginning of our 3rd quarter our study groups had to give a persuasive presentation as part of a Professional Communications course. One of the teams decided to use this as an opportunity to try and increase attendance at the post-class nights at The Keg. I hope they got an “A” on their presentation, because it worked! I made an effort the rest of the quarter and have only missed once or twice since then.
So this week after class on Monday night, I went to The Keg with some of my classmates. It was a normal night and people chatted about their jobs, whether or not they’re going on the International Study Tour, and other news. As we were chatting, I started to think more about the network that I’m building as a part of the TMMBA Program.
Everyone knows that networking is important. At TMMBA there are several events throughout the year to give students and alums the opportunity to connect. These include speed networking nights, our Tech @ the Top guest speaker series, an alumni book group, quarterly socials and happy hours. We also focus an entire quarter to networking in our newly launched Career Development Program, which you can read about in this post. But what I’m realizing is that sometimes it’s the simple things that can have the biggest impact.
What I didn’t get at first is that going to The Keg is about more than just a quick drink after class. It’s about building relationships that will last well beyond graduation. Week after week we go for drinks and I feel like I have a deeper connection with my classmates because of it. We talk about hopes and aspirations, our hobbies, where we want to go next in our careers, and I regularly hear someone sharing a potential career opportunities at their company and an offer to forward a resume.
So what’s my takeaway? It is important to build your professional network and meet new people, but don’t forget to make time to focus on the connections you already have.