NETWORKING AND MENTORING IN ARCHITECTURE
Below is a special guest entry written by Ms. Hannah Brostoff who recently graduated with the joint Master of Business Administration (MBA) / Master of Architecture (MArch) from the University of Illinois. — Thanks, Hannah!
Had the pleasure of working with Hannah as an architecture student during her time at the University of Illinois.
Networking and Mentorship in Architecture
Networking is something we are always told to do, but that is much easier said than done. I spent several hours a week networking while in school, and only wish I did more as I reflect on my experience. Below are some tips to make networking easier as well as some advice that helped me find a mentor.
Professional Organizations and University Events
Join professional organization that aligns with your interests. Some offer scholarships, and most offer continuing education opportunities. But, most importantly, they can help you connect with other professionals that share your interests. Commit to attending as many networking events that your organizations offer, and any events at your university for students and alumni. These events make it easier to talk with people because you already have something in common to discuss.
If you know who you will have the opportunity to network with ahead of time, research their interests and career history. Form questions that get the conversation going and connect their experience back to your interests/career goals. Doing research can set you apart from others at the event while preparing you for the event, setting you up for success.
Keep your LinkedIn profile updated and connect with people you meet at events. Reach out occasionally to maintain the connection and interact with their posts. LinkedIn is a simple way to catch up with other professionals and less time consuming than networking events.
While you are networking and building connections with different professionals, ask those that you connect with most to be your mentor. You can also find mentors through the professional organizations you join. Mentors can help expand your network, provide career advice, and become a long-lasting friend. It is important to consistently talk to your mentor and build your relationship, but some mentors can turn into sponsors, which we all need.
Networking can only help you in school and your career. Most professionals in the field want to help other people, so network often and do not be afraid to ask for help!
Hannah Brostoff, MBA
To add to what Hannah states above, I MUST share the following quote from Richard Bolles, the author of What Color is Your Parachute?
First, thru your research
Then, thru your contacts.
Clearly, Dr. Bolles is referring to your career / job search.
If you need assistance, do contact ARCHCareersGuide.com