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Full Time MBA student Jay Manton considers what ‘Networking’ really means to him:

This is a key term that people throw around like it is some magical thing that people get when they start the program.  It takes work to network.  It requires you to step outside of your comfort zone and strike up a conversation with a stranger or an acquaintance.  It involves maintaining the conversation until you have built a bond or connection with that person and ending the conversation on a good note.

I am currently in the Full Time Program and have begun to build these type of relationships with the people in my class.  But I do not believe what we are doing in the full-time program is networking.  I say this because I truly believe it is building friendships.  These are people we will call upon long after this program is done, whether it is for a place to crash while you are in Thailand for a few days or if you decided to move countries for a long period of time and need some advice on the location.

Networking for me is taking advantage of being in the same course with the Part-time or Flexible Program.  You know as soon as you sit down you have a common connection from being in the same program.  These are the people still in industry who are either local to Scotland (Part-time) or local to your home (Flex Learner).  These are the people that can get you in contact with the right person to get the ball rolling to change your career.

I have recently had the privilege of attending the Learning Manager with all the different programs in the same room and it was a really good experience.  Utilizing the group time and the breaks to strike up conversations to see what people were doing and how they viewed the program was very compelling.  One conversation I had brought into context the bond that the Strathclyde MBA provides and how it will stay with you for life.  The fellow I was talking to said he was taking this MBA so he could move up in the company and the Strathclyde MBA was a common thread between 10 of the top 17 executives in his company.  He described it as amazing to see how all of these guys knew what the other was thinking and they could feed off of experiences that were similar.  It really brought into prospective the advantage of how an MBA shapes your thinking but also how contacts like these can help you change career paths based on common connections.

So after reflecting on the weekend course with the other programs, my recommendation is take advantage of any chance you get to converse with someone you don’t know in the MBA program.  No matter what program they are in as they all offer different experiences.  You never know when you will meet someone with the interests and connections to help you grow your career in the direction you wanted to go.”