Friday, 12 December 2014

Why you should 'network' during your PHD?

I have been getting out of my comfort zone and taking up every social offer at Uni. This includes presentations, seminars, workshops, social gatherings for staff or students. I am taking up every opportunity to network. Most of the time I have known at least one person at these events. On one occasion I knew nobody but at least I knew I had something in common with the other students- we were all working on our PhD. It was a HDR student dinner organised and provided by the Uni committee. It was worth going - I won a $100 gift voucher for submitting a feedback survey!

Besides sometimes having free food on offer, what are the benefits of networking during your PhD?

- meeting like-minded people
- meeting academics that could help with your thesis
- find out 'who's who' at University
- gain a job
- share ideas
- broaden your knowledge by learning about others' research
- minimize research isolation
-did I mention sometimes there's free food?

When networking at events with like-minded people, finding common ground is easy: research! 

Here are 5 tips to getting a conversation going at a networking opportunity:

1. Ask about their research first
2. Listen before you speak
3. Be interesting - share something besides your research
4. Be polite - definitely don't say something negative about another academic- it's a small world!
5. Be able to share your research topic in one, maybe two clear concise sentences.

What do you benefit from networking during your PhD?

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