By Nana J Adu • February 01, 2018•Law School, Pre-Law, Issues, Mentoring and Networking
My name is Nana J. Adu, and I am a pre-law student at Rutgers University. I am also the founder and president of Rutgers NBLSA Pre-Law. I have learned throughout my time as president that networking and personal branding is a must. If i did not connect with the people I did, this organization would not have been founded. With that being said, it was a pleasure being included in the discussion of something I love to do which is networking.
On January 6th, I had the amazing opportunity to join Genevieve Antono, Nikki Datta, and Katie Larkin-Wong on Google Hangouts for the first Mentoring Hangouts Series episode. Genevieve Antono has been active on Ms. JD since her undergraduate career, and is now Director of Ms. JD Pre-Law. Nikki is a junior at Columbia University and is a writer-in-residence for Ms. JD. Mrs. Katie Larkin-Wong was the former president of Ms. JD and is an associate at Latham and Watkins LLP.
Genevieve under the Ms. JD Pre-Law platform created Mentoring Hangouts to give undergraduate pre-law students the opportunity to gain professional information and development from established lawyers. Mentoring Hangouts is a great way for pre-law students to converse with one another and professionals in various fields of law to gain insight. This hangout session focused on networking and personal branding.
Networking gives students the chance to connect with professionals or vice versa. We all need people in our lives to learn, grow, and develop. That is why it is important for pre-law students to be active on LinkedIn, and to attend spaces where they can connect with others who share their same interests, or are further in their career field they strive for. In addition, Your personal brand plays a role in your ability to network efficiently and effectively. Who you are, your interests, and your involvement is what will draw amazing people to you.
There are various tips that were covered on Mentoring Hangouts. Here are a few:
- Most of the time we feel that because we are talking to professionals we try to put on a persona that looks more appealing to them. However, just being genuinely yourself (but also professional) gets you a long way. You do not have to change who you are to network.
Don’t be afraid to connect with professionals.
- It is sometimes intimidating walking up to an attorney you admire. I remember attending a banquet filled with many attorneys and important people. I was so nervous to communicate with them, but it helps to know the person you are trying to network with beforehand. Do your research, and see if you have common interests.
There are many ways to network.
- Yes, Twitter is a great networking tool. Ms. Katie Larkin- Wong mentioned how she connects with people by sharing her articles on Twitter, or by retweeting law-related posts.
- LinkedIn is also a great tool to communicate and meet new people. I was able to connect with Gennie via LinkedIn. I saw her post about something I was interested in, and the relationship grew from there.
- The traditional way-Talking to people in person is also an amazing way to connect with others. Invite an attorney to grab some coffee. Face to face conversations allow both parties to get to know each other in a relaxed setting.
I urge many pre-law students to start working on their personal brand, and networking skills. You never know who you are going to meet, or who is going to invest in your progress.
Thank you so much, Genevieve Antonio for creating this platform. I also would like to thank Nikki Datta and Katie Larkin-Wong for sharing their experiences and advice.
Please check out Mentoring Hangouts on youtube under Gennie #MsJDPreLaw, and follow Rutgers NBLSA Pre-Law on instagram: ru_nblsa.
Here is the link to the discussion: