The Power and Potential of Networking


By Mitchell Friedman, Associate Dean of Career Development and Student Affairs

Published 8.16.12

Five years ago, I was introduced to a Presidio student by one of my MBA students at the University of San Francisco.  At the time, I was overseeing career services for that university's MBA program.  I was curious, so I reached out to that Presidian. We had an interesting and informative phone conversation, and we stayed in touch via e-mail, LinkedIn, and Twitter over the years. When I was going through a career transition and looking to learn more about Presidio, I reached out to that individual to give me an intro to faculty and staff. She gladly made them!

I'm delighted to recount this experience as Presidio’s new Associate Dean, Career Development and Student Affairs.  My arrival in this role represents the culmination of many meetings, hours of conversation, and research that all began with a single phone conversation with a member of the Presidio community.

I've met scores of people throughout my career, and yet still don't know if (much less when) such encounters will morph into career-transforming relationships like the one I’ve described here.  But it's this potential and power of networking that allows me to awaken each morning with a bounce in my step. I have a passion for connecting with others, as well as connecting people I know with each other for mutual benefit.

The economic changes we've experienced over the past several years have ushered in an increasingly complex and convoluted process to finding work.  Yet the starting point for one’s efforts in this domain should be the same no matter what the economic climate happens to be: connect with others and build mutually beneficial relationships over time.  Opportunities for meaningful work come about more often as the result of networking as opposed to simply submitting applications for open positions.

Two articles to get you started:

How to Network Effectively

How to Network: For Introverts

This is the first in a series of posts by Dr. Friedman about networking and career development in the business and public administration fields.

Mitchell Friedman, Associate Dean of Career Development and Student Affairs

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