Young Professional Event: Never Eat Alone: Put Your Network to Work
By James L. Smith, CPA – VP of Membership Committee and Marvin Rosen – VP of Student Activities

On February 13, 2018, IMA (the Institute of Management Accountants) hosted a Young Professional Committee’s event: Never Eat Alone – Put your Network to Work. This was a presentation given by Joe Campolo, Esq., who serves as the Managing Partner of Campolo, Middleton & McCormick, LLP. With over 50 young professionals and students in attendance it was an exciting and interesting night for all.

Joe Campolo spoke for about 45 minutes on the value of networking as well as how to network. In fascinating order, Joe explained his journey to success from the ground up. How he utilized the power of networking to start his own business and why networking was and is the most powerful tool he had at his disposal to get started. First of all, networking is not a passive activity. Joe was clear that proper networking begins with a plan, a structure and a goal(s).

Effective networking begins with picking the right venues. It is important to know what types of contacts will help you achieve your goal and by taking the time to select the best venues you can maximize the contacts that will help you in your journey. Second, good networking involves rules and protocols. For example, do not monopolize people’s time. You want to spend enough time to get to know someone lightly, get their information and leave a positive impression. Remember, these people are here to network too and both of you should want to meet several people. Also, show interest in the person you are talking to. By not making yourself the central topic you generate interest and make a personal connection. Finally, follow up! What is the point of networking if you do not follow up and stay in touch?

Joe explained that he likes to connect with about 5 people as this allows him to remember details of the person. He has made it a practice to write down a few items of the conversation on the person’s business card so that he can reference the conversation in his follow up communications. Nice idea!

After the presentation, the young professionals and students joined the networking hour to put what they had learned to work. It is always exciting for me to see these young individuals going out and meeting new people, making those first time connections and beginning or accelerating down the path to a more robust and exciting career.