Networking for paving your career path

Networking is the critical key for building a successful career, both within and outside the academia. This is what HR managers, CEO’s and ex-postdocs emphasized during our events last year. Therefore, we are very enthusiast about this academic year’s topic: Networking! We opened the 2016-2017 series of thematic events on Tuesday 29 November, with an interactive keynote speech on ‘Networking - what, why and how?’, by Dimitri Verhoye.

Dimitri disclosed all the secrets of networking. He kick-started his interactive lecture with the question: “How many of you have a business card?”. No one in audience had one. And this was only the first of a long series of mistakes the participants became aware of: not having a LinkedIn account, not having an elevator pitch ready at hand (actually more than one is needed, different pitches for different situations!), not talking personally to speakers and organisers after a lecture, not saving all the contacts offline, … the list could be even longer!

Dimitri shared all the tricks of this most difficult, but also most rewarding trade in an entertaining and compelling way: from the Do’s and dont’s to the 10 commandments of networking, from the 5 targets to set for yourself at every networking event to the “S.O.S. people” (Speaker, Organisers, Sponsors) you should always talk to. But he also put on the table some very good arguments to persuade the audience that networking is not just useful for the professional career, it is also essential to keep the stress of daily life within manageable levels. After all, everyone was born in a network (the family) and, willy-nilly, everyone interacts on a daily basis with many networks of different kinds. So, why not make a strength of it? And not in an opportunistic way, quite the opposite: cultivating your network means building meaningful relationships, Dimitri said, it means doing things the “HEART WAY” rather than the “HARD WAY”.

The talk was followed by a “networking lunch” that gave the participants the opportunity to practice on the spot what they had just learned in a networking game directed by Dimitri Verhoye himself. Admittedly, this first try was a bit frustrating for some, the concrete results Dimitri promised seemed hard to reach… But this only proved true one more of his main points: networking requires structure, discipline, and perseverance, it is a building on the long-term, not fishing for quick results.


Event details


Dimitri Verhoye, Managing Director Smart A’DVice BVBA and Guest Lecturer at Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management. For more information, see De Standaard.


1.5h talk + 0.5h Q&A, followed by a networking lunch.


Tuesday 29 November, 10h-13h.


Zebra (room Nick Ervinck) in Zebrastraat.