Making Quiet Connections

I have a confession to make.

I opened a LinkedIn account two weeks ago only to complete a Bravo Group internship assignment.

I’ve resisted joining LinkedIn for many reasons, mainly because I find networking intimidating. My university career center often hosts networking events on campus and elsewhere. However, donning business wear and a name tag among alumni and other awkward students hovering over light refreshments in a large banquet hall sounds like the last situation where I want to land myself.

Small talk with strangers is not for me. I’m an introvert, just like one-third of the population, and my kind does not thrive in highly stimulated environments. Susan Cain, author of “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking,” confirms this, and she mentions that introverts would rather make one genuine connection with a person during an event than exchange a few words and business cards with four others.

I can vouch for that. I’d much prefer a meaningful conversation with a professional and learning something to dropping an elevator pitch to a handful of businessmen and women.

Last week, my internship coordinator needed to get in touch with my school’s office of university communications, where I previously interned, for permission to film client content on campus. She asked me for a contact who would provide the quickest response, because filming needed to get underway, and I gave the name and email of the best person to reach out to.

Permission was quickly granted, and the shoot went smoothly for all involved. I later emailed my contact to share excitement for viewing the final product, and we decided to soon set a time for me to visit the office and say hello to past mentors.

Maybe I can network, starting in a way that is right for my personality. I can strengthen my professional network in a quiet way: with people I have genuine connections with, and now others through the comfort of my computer screen.

I’m starting to think LinkedIn is a good introduction to building contacts, something I’d like to do during my time at Bravo Group. Since I’ve passed perhaps the most painful, unsure step that is creating a LinkedIn account, I can finally check out for myself what this platform has to offer.

Elizabeth Krotulis, Wayne PR/Communications Intern

Image credit: Shutterstock

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