Career Centre staff help introverts learn branding and networking

Jessica Andrews and Sarah Brown Bennett give tips to students ready to enter the field
Photo: Sophie Daly
Sarah Brown Bennett (left) and Jessica Andrews (right) after workshop.

Networking and branding can be difficult for many people when first entering the workforce, especially for introverts.

On April 4, in the DARE incubator located in C-building, Jessica Andrews and Sarah Brown Bennett from the Algonquin College Co-Op and Career Centre taught six introverted students tips and tricks on entering the workforce.

“Historically we would say career paths are like a ladder where you start a company, you work your way up, and then you retire,” said Andrews. “But most people’s career paths don’t look like that anymore, more like a jungle gym. Mine certainly hasn’t been a ladder.”

The workshop worked to show students that everyone’s brand will be different, even if two people started in the same place. Everyone brings different skills and experiences to the workforce.

The main focus of the workshop was building a 30-second elevator pitch. Bennett said that with an elevator pitch, people should focus on summarizing their resumes and highlighting their next steps in work or education.

“Everyone’s here [at networking events] to network and everyone’s here to talk to other people, so just do that, you know what I mean?” said Daniella Kennedy, an industry engagement specialist at Algonquin. “And then once you go up to someone who’s like, ‘Hey,’ they tend to feel better. And I have a lot of people who are like, ‘Thank you for going to talk to me,’ because they want to talk, they just don’t know how to approach.”

The workshops showed students the importance of LinkedIn and how to use it as a professional. Andrews mentioned a smart thing to do after events is to look for the people you spoke with and connect with them on LinkedIn, this can help introverts stay in contact without face-to-face communication.

“LinkedIn is a very useful tool for marketing,” said Andrews. “You’re leveraging your profile, whether that’s, joining groups on LinkedIn. There are so many groups, for any industry, if you just take it like you’re programming, you’re going to see tons and tons of different groups come up.”

Andrews and Bennett said students should stay in contact with their peers, professors and friends to help build their network — connections are made with anyone.

“For myself, I am introverted, but there are times that I have to describe myself as an extroverted introvert because you have to put yourself out there sometimes,” said Bennett. “Our department has a lot of networking events on campus where we have to go out and speak to the employers. As part of my role, I have to speak to the students.”

Information on workshops and other events can be found on the college’s event calendar.

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