Friday, December 29, 2006

PanIIT Chronicles - Networking

Alumni meets are very interesting. One of the reasons why alumni meets are held is networking, an euphemism for making contacts to suit one's convenience. Strange things happen in the name of networking - visiting cards are exchanged like Christmas cards, strangers barge into a group of old batchmates and start speaking to them as if they were acquaintances for life ... it's all in the game, so nobody finds it rude...

So, what can people like me do there ? Other than talking to our own friends, that is ? An MD of a rather well-known (well-known in a particular niche, and I had heard about it first time in 2000) software/media company was interested in me, but I wasn't, so I somehow squirmed myself out of an "opportunity". Other than that, it was more of meeting old acquaintances in new settings - I met a girl from HSS Dept after a year. We did discuss a few issues of IIT system, and as a PG nominee or something, she said she'd take it up. Atleast, as an organizer my contacts were more than without - atleast the speakers in my sessions had to speak to me ! That was my version of networking.

At the end of it all, Sachin came up with an incredibly profound statement - networking is meaningless unless you can offer something meaningful to others. I know, I can still hear Mrs. Anita Sharan drilling it into our ears the essence of communication - "What's in it for me ?" and Prof. K.L. Batra explaining the selling approach as an F-A-B (features-advantages-benefits) with focus on "B". But, isn't it rather easy to forget it ?

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