Approaching networking as an introvert

Meeting UWaterloo alumni to share ideas and experiences 

Hi there! I’m Colette, a second-year student in the Sustainability and Financial Management Program. In a few days, I will be meeting some SAF alumni through the Fellowship Program Café and will have the opportunity to speak to them about their experience in the program, how it’s helped them in their careers, and more.  

Colette at black and gold dayI’m not a super outgoing person, so I get a bit nervous about networking events because I want to make a good impression and don’t want the conversations to be boring or awkward. However, since this event is more on the casual side, I’m not worried. Plus, I’ve been to a couple of networking events before and I’m starting to get the hang of them.  

If you are like me and tend to get nervous when networking with people or tend to not know what to say, my best tip is to join a group instead of trying to network one-on-one. This way, you can avoid awkward silences that may occur, and another student will most likely take the chance to ask a question, giving you more time to think. It also helps me to have some go-to questions that I can use to get the conversation started. I usually like to ask the networker questions like: 

  • What extracurriculars were you involved with while you were in university? 

  • Could you give me a brief rundown of what your career has been like so far? 

From there, I come up with more tailored questions based on their responses.  

Hopefully, you find these tips helpful! Personally, I’m really excited to talk to alumni about what their experience in their program was like during their time at the University of Waterloo and to learn how much it’s changed since then.  

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