Networking with the students

As a trader in vacant houses Mike Samuels, CEO of Great Oak Capital Limited, was a big success until the buy to let boom made stock very hard to locate and forced Mike into other initiatives. He expanded an overseas education company into Europe and engaged in internet marketing, which he continues to this day.

Following a chance meeting with a university business school lecturer he was offered the chance to deliver a guest seminar and chose to answer the question ‘What are the 7 secrets of successful networking?’

The lecture was delivered to a room full of students at Manchester Metropolitan Universities Crewe campus and his interactive professional, yet light hearted approach, was very well received.

Relating the story that Mike was offered the opportunity to purchase £78 million of residential property being sold by a property development company, Mike, having done his own due diligence found thirteen potential investors from his own contact list each with the £78m required.

As a serial networker and collector of useful contacts Mike went into detail about the importance of building a network and how to maintain contacts. He delivered a clear, concise and interactive message, beginning by discussing the merits of networking.

Personal branding is vital to building a successful long term career he continued, try writing a blog, Tweeting, join Linkedin and complete your profile.  Mike urged the students to have professionally designed business cards and explained the importance of preparing an ‘elevator speech’.

Why and where to network were also discussed and the participants were taken to a mythical networking event where they learned how to prepare both physically and mentally and how to adopt the correct behaviour, including rules on alcohol consumption and meeting and greeting.

They learn how to ‘work the room’ and be interesting to new people by talking about what they are rather than who they are, and then how to follow up their new contacts.

To reinforce their confidence Mike created a scenario of a Lady Gaga obsessed person entering a coffee shop and finding the only available seat was sharing a table with his heroine. The student must open a conversation or lose the opportunity to engage. Mike’s approach led to meaningful interaction to underline the points made in the seminar.

The entire class of about forty students were then encouraged to put into practice what they had learned by networking and finding affinities.

This again proved very successful and the students, many on overseas exchange from countries such as France, Belgium, Latvia and Bangladesh had a great time and enjoyed the interaction.

Mike has been now been invited to talk to, or hold seminars for professional groups, companies and networking organisations nationally and the door has opened to another successful career.

Posted in Great Oak Capital.

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