As I stated in a previous blog, the greatest strength of the Weekend Executive MBA program is what you can gain from really getting to know your classmates. And extrapolating on that, alumni and other members of the Fuqua community can provide equally great insights and value. Here’s how I recommend tapping into the power of that network.

1. Attend as many networking events as possible.

Even if the networking event is not specifically geared to what your interests are, there is always a benefit to learning about how people got to where they are, and it’s fun to hear about their journeys. You may pick up a tip or two even if it’s a completely different industry or a path than what you’ve chosen.

2. Don’t be bashful about reaching out.

The Team Fuqua spirit is strong, not just in your current classmates but even in alumni that may have graduated years ago. I’ve had people reach out to me who have graduated decades ago and I have felt comfortable reaching out to alumni who I have no relation to. Everyone has been willing to connect and has shared a willingness to help me on my own journey.

3. Use the available resources.

The Career Management Center and any available directories within the Fuqua network are invaluable. LinkedIn has also been a really great resource to identify Fuqua alumni that work in industries you may be interested in getting into.

4. Try to be patient but persistent.

Everybody is busy so it may take time for people to respond to networking requests. But at the end of the day, people want to see you succeed especially those within the Fuqua community.

5. Networking is not a one-way street.

For you to be able to take advantage of the network, you also need to be willing to hold up your end of the bargain. Sometimes that means connecting your connection with another one of your contacts or to follow through with a request of their own. Make sure that you maintain this credibility as you utilize the broader Fuqua network.