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  • Katherine Quach

Coffee Chats: Networking to the Next Level

Updated: Apr 3, 2021

So you’ve connected with new individuals on LinkedIn, particularly those in your field of interest. You developed a professional platform for yourself, with a gorgeous profile picture and great credentials. What comes next? How do you set yourself up for success as a college student?

In a virtual atmosphere, connecting beyond the typical LinkedIn status strengthens your position as an incoming job applicant. Networking allows you to progress an extra step into the business world, as you enhance your relationship with individuals in your anticipated industry. As you initiate conversations with new faces online, you have the opportunity to leave a lasting impression on them, which can boost your reputation with future companies and aid you in landing a job. However, connecting and text chatting back-and-forth with professionals on LinkedIn is only the first step to developing professional relationships with individuals in your field of interest.

Virtual coffee chats provide you with the opportunity to have one-on-one conversations with business people, allowing you to develop stronger relationships in your field industry through formal or casual talks. Whether it is through Zoom, Google Meet, or even FaceTime, coffee chats incite a personal, professional relationship and further broaden your ability to business network with lasting impacts and connections. Most importantly, you would be able to explore their inside lives as professionals in their respective fields, thus preparing you to possibly fill their role in the near future.

Now, how do you go about scheduling coffee chats? Once you connect with people, don’t be shy and express interest in video chat conversations! If they don’t already have a virtual event planner for their coffee chats, create one for yourself. Many individuals utilize Calendly to convey their free hours for individuals to compare with their own schedule. Once they agree to spend their free time chatting with you, keep in mind the following significant points:

- do research beforehand and prepare relevant questions for your connection

- have a rehearsed elevator pitch ready prior to chatting

- ensure that you have good lighting, a clutter-free background, and a steady wifi connection

- be on time and send a thank you email after your meeting

Overall, coffee chats are a remarkable way to prepare you for the future business world, as you learn new communication skills and develop stronger connections with professionals. Personal and professional development comes from your dedication and perseverance; always strive to reach achievements that influence growth; networking to the next level is the first step.

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