Help IABC/Chicago Welcome Students & Recent Graduates
By Daryn Schwartz, IABC Volunteer
Networking can be intimidating, even for professional communicators. Imagine how daunting talking to a room full of veteran communicators may feel to students and recent graduates. To help you remember what it was like when you were a student and new to networking, here are a few tips for interacting with students at IABC events:
Look for Students to mingle with at IABC luncheons and events. Your initiative in starting a conversation with a younger member is very welcome! As you arrive, please peruse the registration list and look for any students.
Introduce them to Other Professionals. As you meet students and see them multiple events, take the time to introduce them to other professionals. Ask the student if he or she is interested in meeting IABC attendees from particular companies or industries. Facilitate the introduction if you know anyone like they describe.
Welcome Students During Meeting Announcements. As you meet students at IABC meetings, try to introduce them to board members who can then formally welcome students during the announcements portion of the meeting.
Provide Event Background. When attending an event such as the Spectra Awards, make sure students who are sitting near you understand the purpose and history of the event. Other professionals at your table may benefit from the background as well!
Encourage Student Name Tags. As you meet students at IABC meetings, encourage them to put their university and student designation on their nametags.
Invite them to Sit with You During Lunch. While talking to the students during the networking portion, invite them to join you at your table where you can introduce them to your contacts. Students will appreciate you offering to be their host.
Collect and Distribute Business Cards. Encourage students to collect business cards from the professionals they meet and to create a business card with their name, school and areas of interest if they have not already done so.
Follow up. After you get to know the student, take the initiative to email them or call them to invite them to other IABC events.