Five Questions for Karoline Duarte, Education and Networking Expert
- November 23, 2023
Reading Time: 4 Minutes
For international students looking to make their mark in a new country, networking can be a bridge to success. But where do you start? To find out, we spoke to an expert: Karoline Duarte, a project manager in the education sector. Karoline has given seminars all over Toronto about developing networking skills. Read our full interview with her below.
How did networking play a role in your career progression?
So far, I’ve worked for eight different companies, and all the jobs I got were through networking. Whether it was through people I met in college, colleagues, friends from parties, or former business partners, networking played a crucial role.
Can networking help Canadian newcomers overcome cultural and language barriers?
Yes, networking is a way to navigate these challenges. It gives you the opportunity to learn about how people behave and communicate in a different culture. When you have a personal interaction in a new cultural environment, it will help you understand that new environment.
How can networking help someone transition between careers?
When you interact with people in your desired industry, you start to build connections and gain an understanding of what it takes to succeed in that sector.
To get the most out of these interactions, you are first going to want to learn as much about the industry as possible. Keep up with the latest trends and news channels. Attend virtual and in-person workshops. It's also crucial to exhaust free online resources. Once you have this foundational knowledge, networking opportunities will have greater value.
What are some general networking mistakes to avoid?
Some people tend to think that networking involves meeting someone important, such as a director or president, and trying to gain opportunities from those interactions. In reality, every connection you make matters, whether it’s a friend, colleague, or co-worker. Actually, every human interaction is a networking opportunity.
Therefore, it is important to always be good to people and mindful of your actions.
Another important point is not to use networking to show off or flatter the other person. Instead, get to know people on a personal level by showing interest in what they are saying and being authentic. This approach will help this person remember you as a good person, as a knowledgeable person, rather than identifying you as an opportunist.
What advice do you have for international students looking to build a network?
Students should consider all their actions as potential networking opportunities. Choose the area where you feel the most confident because that’s where you’re going to shine. If you’re a sports enthusiast, use that as a way to stand out. If you’re a good talker, put that to use.
Additionally, make use of social media to build connections. However, keep it neat and respectful by avoiding negativity, as networking is all about being a good person and creating positive interactions.
If you’re interested in a career path similar to Karoline’s, explore the Project Management webpage.
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