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What’s The Point of Networking?

March 2, 2015

I’ve been fortunate to work for Mississauga Board of Trade (MBOT) for almost 10 years and in that time I have learned what networking is really about.  MBOT hosts over 70 events a year, and networking is a huge part of these events and our business.  Ironically, I didn’t think networking was applicable to me.  

I take care of the administrative part of the company, so when I started to attend our events almost 10 years ago, I stuck to the registration desk like glue and avoided networking because I didn’t think it applied to me since I wasn’t in sales or member services.   It didn’t help that I was very shy and introverted and was terrified of networking.  The idea of approaching strangers and starting a conversation was paralyzing.   I decided to face my fears, and after taking a 12 week Dale Carnegie Communications course, I was better equipped with tips and tricks on how to approach people, build relationships, and think fast on my feet.   This course was instrumental in where I am now.  I am better at communicating my thoughts and ideas to whatever my audience is:  my family, friends, co-workers, MBOT Board of Directors, the NGEN committee I lead, and even the stranger in the elevator.   

Applying what I’ve learned over the years, networking to me is not about giving out our business card to everyone in the room, or selling a product or service; it’s about sharing ideas, learning about others, offering help and advice when needed, and building relationships.  I encourage you all to attend an NGEN networking event and practice networking from a non-selling point of view, and you will reap the rewards of better relationships.

Monika Rumin, Mississauga Board of Trade

Manager of Finance & Administration