Carol Aebi, Mircea Baldean

Make the Most of Your Graduate School Experience

Graduate school programs such as an MBA can provide the advanced skills required to take a career to the next level. They not only offer academic knowledge but also peer interaction to test ideas, hone abilities and gain insights into one another’s strengths. Building and nourishing a strong academic network can form a valuable circle of influence to provide a pool of knowledge and sounding boards for challenging career moments. Academic networking can build upon the theoretical benefits of a graduate degree when applied within practical professional arenas for a lifetime of learning.

Robert Kennedy College (RKC) in Zürich, Switzerland, hosts and manages the online portion of master’s level programs. A notable advantage of the RKC combined online and residency program is the global network of professionals from several universities interacting in the online forums and Campus Café. With over 5,000 students from 130 different countries, the opportunity to build an international professional network is exceptional. These interactions are not only virtual; students also meet face-to-face while attending their residencies.

The Masters level programs bring mid- to senior- level professionals with wide ranging experience and geographical locations together. Within a traditional university, students are all living and working in the city or region. However, at RKC, students live and work in their home country, bringing their local perspectives into each discussion and lesson. Students learn how to effectively collaborate and achieve results within remote working groups. In an ever more international world, developing this flexibility is a unique skill.

Robert Kennedy College students and alumni are able to network with thousands of others opening access and creating career opportunities that otherwise may have been missed.

One example of such post academic business collaboration is Mircea Baldean, MBA, alumni from the University of Wales/Robert Kennedy College program and Carol Aebi, MBA, alumni from the University of Cumbria/Robert Kennedy College program. Carol and Mircea interacted through the RKC online forum then stayed connected after graduation. When Mircea was developing a new business idea, he tapped into his university network for validation and concept development, engaging Carol for her start-up strategic expertise. The two also partner with Gabriel, a Silicon Valley-based geospatial technologist, and their business MeetVibe, Inc. was founded. From Zurich to Toronto to San Francisco, the team works remotely but in a very cohesive and collaborative manner, a valuable skill developed through the RKC program.

RKC Alumni and MeetVibe founders – Mircea Baldean and Carol Aebi, joined by co-founder Gabriel Paun (left) at Web Summit 2017

Their app is the next evolution of social technology, creatively layering IoT interactions with market-validated social technologies into a unified platform. Last year they released the MeetVibe beta for iOS. Students from across programs joined in. Influences such as Asad Imam, Mohamud A. Verjee, Slobodan Bogovac, Joyce Njeri, and Jeremy Hewitt all provided guidance and spread the word. With a network of support, in January 2017 the beta for Android was released.

MeetVibe launched their business offer in July 2017 at the largest tech conference in Asia, and participated in the Web Summit, the biggest tech conference in the world held in Lisbon in November 2017.

Are you maximizing your professional networking opportunities and tapping into this talent pool?

It is not enough to simply collect a list of names or link social media profiles. Meaningful relationships extend beyond the online environment and are built with time and attention. Carol and Mircea’s MeetVibe app can help. Sign up today and share calendar availability and social media profiles with fellow students and alumni. Schedule a virtual meeting, call or get-together to develop valuable relationships.

Make the most of your graduate school experience – build a global professional network to support your success!

 

Originally published by Robert Kennedy College

5 Tips to Lose the Awkward and Master Networking

We all know the power of networking. It’s how many of us land our first job, find a business partner and broaden our horizons on life.

But for many, networking doesn’t come easy. Walking into a room full of strangers can be daunting whether you’re an introvert or extrovert. Doubt, uncertainty and fear can easily creep in and sabotage your best efforts.

Making the most of any event takes a bit of practice. Malcolm Archer, our Business Development Manager at Wavefront offers up some tips and tricks he’s learned over the years. Use these pointers to lose the awkward and apply them next time you’re working a crowd!
1) Have a goal when going to any event

Examples of goals can be: Make new friends, find Project Managers, find fellow curling enthusiasts, find out what’s happening in a particular industry, identify prospects, etc. By having a goal it gives you a go-to topic of conversation. Don’t be afraid to share your goal, you never know who can make an introduction!

2) Set a time limit

I try and average 5-7 minutes. Chances are the person you are talking to is also there to network and being in a conversation with someone for 20+ minutes does neither of you any favours. According to a Microsoft study, most people’s attention span is around 8-12 seconds. Highly interesting conversations should be noted and followed-up on within 48 hours so you can pick them back up while they’re fresh and in a more dedicated setting.

3) Be genuinely interested in other people

This one is taken straight from Dale Carnegie, and he says it best: “If you aspire to be a good conversationalist, be an attentive listener. To be interesting, be interested. Ask questions that other people will enjoy answering. Encourage them to talk about themselves and their accomplishments.”

4) Don’t be afraid to end a conversation

If you start feeling like a conversation has run its course, odds are the other person feels it as well. The easiest way to end a conversation is to thank that person for their time and tell them you will follow-up with them. Try not to make an excuse for leaving – this cheapens the interaction. Especially don’t say something like “Oh hey look it’s Mike, I haven’t seen him in forever!” This makes the person whom you are with feel less important. Simply thank them and move on.

5) Have fun!

Humans, in my limited experience, are quite perceptive. If you’re stressed or anxious, it’s easily displayed. Try and relax and enjoy the moment. Talking to people doesn’t come naturally so the more you practice, the more fun and easy it becomes.

 

Originally published by Elise Varley on WaveFront.