Newbie to Networking

In my first semester of law school, I received email after email inviting me to attend “networking events.” Having come straight through from undergrad, I had no idea what the word networking was or even how to do it. But, as a newly poor law student, the enticing description of food and drinks along with the word “free” peaked my interest and I was soon attending weekly networking events. I look back on those events now and laugh because all I did was stand at the food table and constantly refill my plate–keeping my mouth full at all times so I didn’t have to talk to the intimidating professionals crowding the room. Even after the encouraging pep talks from the Career Advisors, I spent my entire 1L year attending a ton of networking events without spending a single second actually networking. (Not that hard if you spend every second of your time at the event eating).

When 2L year came around, I was completely put off by the idea of attending anymore events. I was still very much intimidated when it came to reaching out to professionals as well as the idea of meeting up to speak with them. I was disheartened by the lack of response from the very few people I did work up the courage to email. Plus, I still had this overall feeling that I was doing this networking thing completely wrong. Yet, I knew it worked since a lot of my friends obtained their 1L summer internships as well as their 2L OCI interviews/internships just by networking. So, although still defeated, I decided to take my friends’ advice and keep trying. However, this time around my networking had more of a purpose since I had just decided on pursuing a career in tax law.

Now, as a soon-to-be-graduating 3L, I’ve had more networking experiences this Fall Semester than my entire first two years of law school combined. With tips and advice from my fellow peers, I actively reach out to alumni and other professionals in the Boston Area. I’m no longer intimidated  to speak with practicing lawyers and have fully realized that yes, what they say is true: Everyone loves to talk about themselves. To this day, I’ve yet to have an experience that was anything less than great, totally worth my time, and more helpful than I could have imagined.

The moral of the story is this: as with everything in life, just because you haven’t done it before doesn’t mean you need to be afraid of trying it. While not every networking experience will end in a job, you still receive valuable information and the opportunity to learn about the decisions someone else made that landed them where they are today. The worst thing that could happen is someone not responding to your email. But, trust me, for every non-response you’ll probably get at least 3 responses from people willing to meet you!

Post a Comment

Your email address is never shared. Required fields are marked *