Why doesn’t the best resume and writing skill always get you the job? This is the question that our speaker, Lorraine Graves, answered in the first IWIS event of the year on March 19. To put it simply: it is all about meeting people and who knows you.
Lorraine began her talk by naming the “Seven Pillars of Canadian Culture”, which are also the fundamental traits for building relationships. These traits are friendliness, modesty, hard work, honesty, respect, helpfulness and consideration for others. One’s demeanor is just as important, “Canadians value people who are confident and calm.” Lorraine emphasized that this is just as important as having clean teeth and tidy disposition.
She then moved on to talk about how to meet people in networking events. Instead of asking questions that can be answered with a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’, start conversations with open-ended questions or talk about community issues or sports. For example, Canadians love talking about figure skating and hockey!
If you are not sure how to act when you first meet someone, remember the power of echoing. This means that when people give you their names and business cards, give them yours. When people offer you their hands, give them a firm handshake. Don’t be afraid to politely ask someone to speak more slowly when needed.
When you seek advice from someone on a one-to-one basis, have questions prepared so you can end the meeting within thirty minutes. Some examples of good questions include: where is the industry going? To get into this field, what courses should I take and what resources are helpful? The first meeting may not be the best time to give out you resume, save it for the third meeting and be careful when asking for a job. It is important to show your appreciation of their time and advice. Even if no opportunities arise after following their advices, let them know that you appreciate their time and guidance. To leave a strong impression, continue toeep in touch at three months intervals
Lorraine expressed her admiration for our participants and congratulated them for coming to the event, an excellent place to meet a group of supportive women. She ended the night with an inspiring line. “Keep your head and spirit up. You have gone this far in your journey. Your hard work will pay off.”
IWIS wants to give a big thank you to the students from the SFU MBA Management of Technology Program for organizing such an unforgettable evening. Thanks to our volunteer, Clare Gladding, for taking great notes. We look forward to seeing you all again in our next event in April!
Written by Lee Ling Yang
Photos by SFU MBA Candidates