How to Network Strategically and Make your Contacts Count
In late February 2019, students from the UBC Master of Engineering Leadership (MEL) and UBC Master of Health Leadership Policy (MHLP) professional master’s degrees participated in a professional development workshop that focused on strategic networking and building a contact list.
Led by Joanna M. Shea from 3P Energy Consultants, the interactive workshop educated students on the importance of building strong networks and provided guidelines on creating strategic contact lists. With topics such as sustaining relationships to identifying target contacts, the workshop focused on building leadership and communication skills which is a key component of the MEL and MHLP programs.
The workshop began with a group activity that encouraged students to describe networking in one word. Afterwards, Joanna emphasized on the importance of networking and how nurturing networks as a student can come a long way in the future. Additionally, Joanna stated that without the “who,” people cannot provide their “what.”
“Strong networks provide you with the ability to go and enlist allies, resources, opportunities or support” – Joanna M. Shea
In the latter part of the workshop, the focus was on identifying target contacts and building a strategic contact list based on three elements: strategic, operational, and personal. By developing a contact list, students would be able to find an optimal network that is strategic (e.g. a mentor), operational (e.g. colleagues and classmates), and personal (e.g. people in your personal life). At the end, students had the opportunity to take their knowledge and develop action items on building their personalized contact list.
“Joanna creates a sense of urgency of how important it is to start networking as MEL/MHLP students” (Student Feedback)
“One important takeaway is the importance of building, sustaining, and cultivating contacts” (Student Feedback)
“The workshop provides an insight of the way to start networking” (Student Feedback)
Understanding the importance of professional skill development and fundamental business practices is a key component of the UBC MEL and MHLP degrees. Find out more about the UBC MEL and MHLP graduate degrees and how it can work for you by exploring what our programs have to offer.