You worked hard to earn your executive MBA, and chose a business school that would give you both a great education and access to a valuable alumni directory and alumni events. Use your networking skills and increased reach using LinkedIn to make valuable connections that will last. The social media platform gives you quick and easy research capabilities, and allows you to extend your network and make more meaningful connections with other successful b-school alums.
Before your next alumni event
Find a list of attendees. Use that list to send a quick email to those you already know, telling them you plan to attend and suggesting time to catch up. Then look up a few of the guest list you do not know on LinkedIn. Are any of them in your field, or working for your dream employer? Use what you learned on LinkedIn to craft an invitation to connect on that same platform. Your shared school, plus planned attendance to the same event will prompt them to add that connection.
During the event
Make contact with old connections and new. Catch up with former classmates as planned. Offer valuable industry news, listen with interest to the changes and updates to their personal and work lives, and build on those existing connections. Remember the attendees that you reached out to on social media? Make sure to introduce yourself in person to your new LinkedIn connections, to create new connections that now have a face and story to go with the social media contact.
After the alumni event
Follow up. Schedule time on your calendar to reach out by phone, email, or social media to both old and new contacts. Build those relationships and offer value whenever you can. Thank new contacts for being open to meeting in person at the event, and express your interest in maintaining a professional connection.