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Professional networking events: How to maximise networking events as an apprentice

10 months ago

Networking events play an important role for any person starting out in their career. We are fortunate that as apprentices, we have ample opportunity to attend networking events, develop connections and build your personal-professional brand. For those living in big cities like London and Manchester, these opportunities are so much greater- it's important that you utilise them to their fullest.

I have drawn together several key tips that fall under a few teams. As someone who loves a good networking event, and who is soon to be hosting their own networking event in a few weeks' time, I hope I can provide some insightful thoughts. 

Why networking events are important

  • Meet people you wouldn't otherwise

Networking events provide the opportunity to meet and connect with individuals who can be valuable resources in your future career, such as potential employers, or individuals who may need legal services in the future and build relationships with them.

  • These connections could become your future clients

Networking events allow you to meet people from a variety of industries and backgrounds, giving you the opportunity to identify potential clients and understand their needs.

Attending networking events allows you to develop and improve your communication and interpersonal skills, which are important in any career.

By connecting with other professionals, you can also build a referral network that can help you reach new clients. This can be especially valuable for legal apprentices who are just starting their careers and looking to build their client base.

  • Build your professional-personal brand

Networking events provide the opportunity to connect with professionals who can offer guidance, advice, and mentorship, which can help you advance in your career.

Networking events give you the chance to learn about different industries, career paths, and job opportunities, allowing you to make informed decisions about your future career.

  • How to prepare for a networking event

As an apprentice, attending professional networking events can be a great way to expand your network, learn about different industries and career paths, and make connections with professionals who can help further your career. To maximise these events, consider the following tips:

  1. Research the event and attendees: Before the event, research the event and the attendees to determine who you would like to connect with and what you would like to learn from them.
  2. Prepare a brief introduction: Have a clear and concise introduction ready that highlights your skills, interests, and goals.
  3. Dress appropriately: Dress professionally and make a good first impression.
  4. Be proactive: Take the initiative to introduce yourself to people and engage in conversations. Listen actively and ask questions.
  5. Follow up: After the event, follow up with the people you met and connect with them on LinkedIn. Keep the conversations going and continue to build relationships.
  6. Be yourself: Be genuine and authentic, and let your personality shine through. Networking is about building relationships, so focus on making meaningful connections rather than just handing out business cards.

Remember, networking is a long-term process and the relationships you build at these events can be valuable assets in your future career.

Jake Saville, Solicitor Apprentice at Stephenson Harwood LLP and Not Going to Uni Ambassador. 

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