By Mitchell Friedman, Associate Dean of Career Development and Student Affairs
From time to time I receive communication from Presidio students that goes something like this: "I met someone from (name of organization) and she mentioned they might need help but I don’t remember her name and really need to follow up with her.”
The solution is simple: when you meet a person at a business event, get their business card. Perhaps even write a note or two on the reverse side of the card to capture the key points of your conversation while they're still fresh in your mind. The bottom line here is to have a physical record of contacts you make so you can follow up as appropriate in conjunction with your broader job search/career development efforts.
More importantly, the business card offers a concise, permanent record of having met (or in some way encountered) that person that you can refer back to later. Even if you choose to scan the card for inclusion of the data in an electronic list, the hard copy serves as a point of reference and even reflection on an encounter that in time may prove to be significant in one's career.
Conversely, you should always bring business cards with you to events for the same reasons you want to get others’ cards—to enable them to remember the encounter and, potentially, continue the conversation.
In short, always be ready to exchange business cards when you meet someone and store them in a secure place after following up with them as you deem appropriate. You never know when they might come in handy.
Fourteen years after first joining the Presidio Graduate School Board of Directors, Eva Auchincloss is still making waves. From championing...