Networking Blog: My Experience with MARK4029
Having reached the conclusion of our semester-long seminar series, in which we had the opportunity to hear from a wide variety of guest speakers, I can say with confidence that I quite enjoyed the experience.
To reiterate, I’m currently enrolled in the Digital Media Marketing program at George Brown College, and in our Seminar course, we’ve heard from more than a dozen different guest speakers. Over my past several blog posts, I’ve gone into detail on a small number of the guests that we heard from this semester. However, being able to now look back on all the speakers we’ve heard from, I recognize that the wide variety of backgrounds and professional experiences that they had have been an incredibly insightful resource as I think about my own future career path.
Over the course of the semester, the various guest speakers we heard from came from a wide variety of marketing backgrounds. Some of them were of particular interest to me due to their relevance to my own career goals. As a result, I made an effort to connect with certain speakers via LinkedIn — Including Shelby Dorfman and Jennifer Stoll — in order to ensure that I will be able to reconnect with them at a later date.
I’ve found that I’ve had the most success with ‘passive’ networking: making an effort to stay connected with people, and nurturing relationships with them without necessarily working or interacting with them. For example, by connecting with some of our guest speakers on LinkedIn, I’ve made a note to engage with some of their posts, with the hopes that they might reciprocate. If they should, I believe that can serve as a mutually beneficial ‘networking’ moment, that requires only a few clicks on social media.
Personally, I find that LinkedIn is my most useful ‘networking’ resource, in that it allows me to stay properly connected with a variety of professional contacts, including some with whom I’ve barely spoken (such as some of our guest speakers). I also utilize other social media platforms for the same purpose, such as Instagram, but since LinkedIn is so professionally focused it serves the role better.
As I mentioned above, I primarily stay in contact with my network of contacts using social media, with LinkedIn being my main platform for professional communications. However, now that I’ve started working in the industry myself, I’ve also begun to widen my networking applications, adding other social communication platforms like Teams, Discord and Cliq to my repertoire.
With regards to working in the industry, I’ve been lucky enough to have found a job with a company directly involved with my desired field and industry (marketing in video games and esports). To that end, I found that networking was truly a major factor in my success in finding a position at a relevant company. I was in communication with some of their employees early in the semester, and when they were impressed with my academic background and enthusiasm for the field, they were prepared to offer me an opportunity to apply for the position. In this way, I would consider networking to have played a large part in securing this opportunity, as without being in communication with certain contacts, I wouldn’t have had this opportunity.
From my experiences hearing from our guest speakers and from building up my own network of contacts, I feel I can absolutely speak to the importance of networking. In particular, I recognize the importance of networking not just when one is actively searching for a job, but rather all the time, to foster and nurture those relationships for the future. From our guest speakers, I also learned a great deal about both the significance and the nuances of B2B marketing. This was of great interest to me, as it’s a field that I’m seriously considering pursuing in my own particular career. As such, I hope that I’ll be able to share that same concept — that B2B marketing is can be much more personal and engaged than B2C, depending on the circumstance.
Looking back, I’m glad to have had the opportunity to have heard from the many guest speakers who took the time to share their experiences with us. As for one of my main takeaways from this seminar course, I stand by the importance of networking as a lasting lesson that will hopefully benefit my career in the long-term.