“Network, network, and network” – this was the key piece of advice echoed by eminent business leaders who came from the heart of the global financial centre to meet with Queen Mary students at the Mile End campus on Monday 25 February.
1 March 2019
At this first information and networking event, representatives from the Institute of Directors (IoD) encouraged Queen Mary students to become involved in their activities as a means to connect with leaders in the business community and boost their professional profiles.
The IoD is a prominent organisation for company directors, senior business leaders and entrepreneurs. It offers discounted memberships to students who are interested in gaining access to training opportunities, business expertise, and networking opportunities.
Sabila Din, the Chair of the Financial Services Group at IoD City, urged students to keep their minds open to the future and think about some of the key trends impacting the sector, such as technology and climate change. She noted that: “Most businesses know what’s happening today, but we really need to be looking over the horizon.”
The event was organised as part of Queen Mary’s Future Global Leaders Forum. Dr Rosemary Clyne, Academic Lead for International Student Experience, commented: “Queen Mary is invested in fostering and building the skills of our future global leaders. In today’s competitive job market, students can set themselves up for success by gaining exposure to their sector and networking with influential professionals. Organisations such as the IoD offer a valuable platform for students eager to kick-start their career.”
Speakers from IoD City of London Branch included: Dallas McGillivray (Education Liaison Officer); Mei Sim Lai OBE DL (Hon Secretary & Chair, China Group); Sabila Din (Chair, Financial Services Group); Irina Velkova (Chair, Young Executives Group); and Neha Rawtal (Chair, South Asia Group).
So what were their top tips for networking? First, be strategic and know what you want to get out of each conversation. Second, practice an ‘elevator pitch’ to sell yourself to contacts, in just 12 words. Third, follow up on initial contacts, more can come out of a one-to-one meeting. And finally, just get out there: with practice you gain confidence!