Sania Chopra: Mastering a Professional Conversation
Over the past two years of college, I have learned the importance of professionalism and establishing a promising first impression, especially in the business community. LSB has offered numerous opportunities for networking with successful industry professionals, and interacting with those professionals in an appropriate manner is key. I think a lot of us are already aware of some basic requirements, like dressing appropriately and being punctual, but what really makes an interaction memorable is a positive, well directed conversation. Being able to go up to a professional who is possibly much older and experienced than you may seem intimidating. What do you even say? The first few such interactions are bound to be short, maybe a little rough, but also serve as great learning experiences. Slowly, you learn how to frame a conversation, ask questions that you and the professional will actually value, and make the most of your time and theirs.
Looking back at my time at SCU, I recall at least a few conversations with accounting and finance professionals from networking events that were especially informative, as those were the two fields I was originally interested in pursuing. I led these conversations, first by starting a light topic, then introducing myself, and flowing into a series of questions that would not only benefit me, but also ideally be related to the professional’s specialty. This ensured they were equally as interested in the conversation, which can make it so much more fun and meaningful. These conversations helped me understand the work, knowledge, and practices that went into each industry, helping me decide that accounting was the better field for me.
Overall, I have learnt to embody a sense of professionalism and present that in my communication. This takes many attempts to master, and the opportunities to grow this skill are endless with LSB events. This skill will not only help establish strong, memorable first impressions, but also make every conversation worthwhile.