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Professional Perspective: Networking at the Directions Conference – Part 3

January 31, 2018

Welcome to Part 3 of the Directions Conference edition of Professional Perspective, where industry professionals share their insights regarding various employment-related topics!

The Directions Conference connects Red River College students in Business and Applied Arts with industry professionals in many areas of business. Keynote speakers, breakout informational sessions and the popular roundtable networking event combine into a rich and rewarding experience for both students and employers.

Zain Ali, Human Resource Manager at Domo Gasoline Corporation Ltd. is back with more of his professional perspective. Zain’s professional perspective comes from an accumulation of his personal experience as an international student and his professional work experience within various industries, and now as a Human Resource Manager.

If you missed parts one and two of Zain’s posts, you can read them here:

Networking at the Directions Conference – Part 1
Networking at the Directions Conference – Part 2

Read on for part three of Zain’s insight on making the most out of networking events in preparation for the Directions Conference!

Today’s question:

What should students do after connecting with industry professionals at networking events like the Directions Conference?

Zain’s Professional Perspective

Industry professionals meet hundreds of people on a regular basis so help them remember you by following up with them after connecting at a networking event. Timing is everything – you might only have 24 to 48 hours to build a concrete relationship out of a meet & greet interaction.

Keep these pointers in mind when reaching out to your newly formed connections:

  • Review your notes. Refer to the notes that you took when preparing to follow up with the industry experts. Research the terminologies, the company and industry trends further if you have to. Find out ways how you can provide value, and determine when you are going to be available to get involved.
  • Touch base using the contact information they provided. Whether it is an email or a quick phone call, express your appreciation of their time and the value you got out of the conversation. Offer your time and skills towards something you could assist with based on what you found out through your research.
  • Connect with them on social media. Invest time and effort in developing and beefing up your social media accounts with a specific career boosting purpose in mind. You can use LinkedIn to connect with your contacts, learn more about what they are interested in, and form meaningful connections off of their connections. Keep in mind, this is not just about having the most connections. LinkedIn can be your platform for demonstrating your knowledge and drive, which can attract the attention of the industry you want to be a part of.

It may take time to hear back from your new connections – allow them the time. If you want to follow up on your initial follow up, be strategic. Cite upcoming events, projects, or opportunities that might be related to their company or the industry. We want to amaze these industry professionals, not annoy them.

Some of your connections may not pan out, and that is okay. Don’t feel that the time and effort was wasted on the connections that do not lead to opportunities. As the saying goes, “a broken clock is right twice a day.” Maybe something will come of it later on.

Keep practicing and network away! Good luck!

Zain will be participating in the 2018 Directions Conference and you can connect with him during the Roundtable Networking Event.

Directions Conference will be held on February 8, 2018 at Canad Inns Polo Park. For more info, visit

To read past editions, click here:
Professional Perspective – What employers are really thinking

For additional employment resources, visit Student Employment Services’ Online Employment Resources or book an appointment with an RRC Employment Advisor at 204.632.3966 or