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Networkology

Learn How to Showcase Yourself with The Networkology Program

by Joseph Prinke ’16

Networkology’s Talk It Up event was held at the Gray Conference Center’s 1877 Club on April 13

Networking as a whole—especially for people who are in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM)—can be a hard concept to grasp. But just like a college course, it can be easily learned when broken up into different sections.

I am currently a graduating senior in biomedical engineering with a pre-medical concentration and minors in mathematics and chemistry. The concept of STEM students learning the ins and outs of networking came about after I attended many networking events, mock and real interviews, and career readiness presentations. I saw the need for networking training for myself and fellow peers. Thus, in August 2014, I developed The Networkology Program. The ultimate goal of this five-stage plan is to teach and show students how to showcase themselves in a professional manner.

At the start of the 2014–15 school year, I brought the concept to Dean Manzione. He was excited and supportive of the idea and I worked closely with him, Director of Strategic Partnerships Lynn Baronas, and Director of Collegiate Student Services Julie Spring to adapt and enact Networkology to meet the needs of CETA students. The CETA student leaders and I worked to make Networkology an integral part of CETA. We plan 5 Networkology events to span the academic year. The first event, Basics of Networking, allows students to learn networking foundations, such as developing their elevator pitch and learning how to interview well. The second event, Reception with CETA Faculty, allows students to “speed date” through topics on career readiness such as dress for success and the art of mingling. The third event, Career Connection, is meant to bring students, alumni, and friends of CETA together to discuss networking and career readiness through a question and answer moderated panel. The fourth stage, OMG, Etiquette!, is an event that teaches participants about dining and business etiquette. As the series comes to a close, Talk It Up follows a progressive dinner format where students use their learned skills to engage with a variety of professionals.

Dean Manzione and the CETA faculty and staff champion Networkology. Dean Manzione brought in the CETA Board of Visitors as well Alumni and Friends of CETA to interact with students. They shared job seeking and networking experiences to instill in students that with the right skills and drive, you can do well. Participants gained a tremendous amount of knowledge by the end of the program. Last year’s success includes students who have received employment from interactions with professionals during Career Connection and Talk It Up. Students have raved about the experiences and skills learned, as have professors and professionals. Ed Paradise, Vice President of Cisco Systems, Security & Trust Organization, thinks it is an excellent program for students, and he thoroughly enjoyed Career Connection. Others have said they have not seen a program like it that focuses on networking and gives students opportunities to interact with professionals.

Remember, by just taking it one step at a time, if you work to better your skills and learn to network, you can produce a more professional view of yourself and be more marketable.