Surveys show that one of the key reasons many students choose an MBA program is for its networking benefits. In the business world, there are few things more important than a powerful network of well-connected people. As the old saying goes, “It’s all about who you know.” With careful and thoughtful MBA networking, you will connect with small startups and large corporations alike, securing you an early start to your career long before graduation.1
In a high-pressure, fast-paced environment like Silicon Valley, knowing the right people can spell the difference between success and failure.. Santa Clara University (SCU) is perfectly positioned to ensure its students are in close proximity to some of the top tech companies and most influential business people in the country. With an SCU degree behind your name, you’ll have a much stronger foothold when venturing out into the billion-dollar tech world of Silicon Valley.2
Why is Networking Important?
Student and Alumni Connections
During your MBA program, you’ll spend an extensive amount of time building connections with your fellow students and alumni. At top universities like SCU, students often go on to become highly successful entrepreneurs and leaders in their industry, so alumni connections can be invaluable to your future career. As you move on past the program, you’ll enjoy interacting with new students as they begin their MBA journey.
Networking introduces you to a wider and more diverse range of people you may have otherwise not have connected with. “Doing an MBA connects you, all of a sudden, with people from different backgrounds - it helps to build a network that is very diverse,” said MBA student Eliran Ben David, speaking to the Financial Times. Through the connections he made over coffee at a student-alumni event, Ben David went on to secure an internship with Amazon.3
Better Quality Opportunities
The network you build during an MBA program will lay the groundwork for how your career progresses once leaving the university. The importance of this exercise cannot be overstated, as it will define your future trajectory and impact all aspects of your life going forward. The quality of the career opportunities that will be made available to you can be vastly improved through the right connections, as employers value the opinions of trusted business people and alumni.4
Exposure to Corporate Culture
Beyond improving your career opportunities, networking will also expand your worldview by exposing you to new cultures, novel ideas, and thought-provoking concepts. You’ll gain deeper insight into the inner workings of the business world, learning about subtle nuances that cannot be taught in a classroom but are nonetheless pertinent in the boardroom. Students who grasp these concepts early on find it much easier to navigate the often confusing landscape of the corporate world after graduating.
Long-term Business Relationships
Connections made through MBA networking needn’t be viewed as a one-way transaction but rather a long-term relationship beneficial for both parties. Businesspeople and alumni often see potential in MBA students and forge relationships that not only expand their own network but promise a mutually beneficial future. Well-balanced relationships such as these are the lifeblood of the corporate world and the foundation of successful business partnerships.5
How MBA Networking Works
Rather than simply chatting to alumni and students, efficient MBA networking requires careful planning and research. During an MBA program, your spare time is valuable, so it’s best to ensure you spend it networking with the right people. Conducting thorough research will ensure you pinpoint the type of people who can help guide you successfully in the direction you desire.
You can start your MBA networking journey at any time, even before you start your course. Connecting with alumni prior to starting your MBA will give you a good idea of the school’s culture and what to expect in the coming years. In most MBA programs, networking becomes the primary focus of your studies in your second year.6 However, at SCU you’ll be networking from day one, branching out into the business world of Silicon Valley and hitting the ground running by connecting with alumni and practitioner faculty.
The initial stage of networking is usually conducted by email or via social networks like LinkedIn, although many universities also arrange special social events specifically for networking. Using contacts that you have accrued through friends or fellow students, send out brief emails that get straight to the point, as people are often busy. If you have researched your contacts well, you'll get replies from interested parties and quickly begin building a beneficial network.
Earn Your MBA Online at SCU
Santa Clara University provides a wealth of online resources to help you connect with fellow students, alumni, faculty and business leaders. In addition, regular networking and development opportunities such as company tours, student clubs, case study competitions, and social events are hosted.
No matter what level you are at in your career, it’s never too early to plan for a future in business. If you feel you’re ready to embark on your MBA journey, speak to a Santa Clara representative about SCU’s Online MBA program.
1. Retrieved on January 12, 2021, from accessmba.com/articles/view/mba-networking-how-to-do-it-properly
2. Retrieved on January 12, 2021, from scu.edu/careercenter/strategic-vision/
3. Retrieved on January 12, 2021, fromft.com/content/88897f3a-33a1-11ea-a329-0bcf87a328f2
4. Retrieved on January 12, 2021, from forbes.com/sites/deniselyohn/2019/07/02/why-should-you-care-about-your-employee-alumni/
5. Retrieved on January 12, 2021, from princetonreview.com/business-school-advice/why-get-an-mba-network
6. Retrieved on January 12, 2021, from topmba.com/jobs/everything-mba-students-need-know-about-networking