I recently attended a networking event on January 31. It was organized by a joint effort from our Alumni Board and student government. It was a relaxed set-up. Dinner was provided, which is always a large draw when dealing with college students. Each table represented a different field so that professionals in that field and curious students had a place to sit and chat.

I ran into two recent alumni at this event, both in the field of education. Though education is not my desired field, it was still nice to catch up with each of them and strengthen the connection we had. Both promised to keep an eye out for any event planning jobs and made me feel better about not knowing what I’ll be doing after graduation yet.

The next person I spoke with was an alum who worked in an accounting firm. While I’m not interested in accounting, she was standing by herself, so I went to introduce myself. As we talked, she explained what she did in more detail. It was interesting to learn more about the field of accounting from her. She also told me that her husband worked in Institutional Advancement at a local university. He often plans events as part of his role and she offered to connect me with him.

When attending networking events, I think it’s important to remember that you can form valuable connections with anyone. If I had not taken the time to speak with this alum because I wasn’t interested in her field, I would have missed out on a connection.