Businesswomen speak with each other at a conference.

Congratulations, recent University of Michigan graduates! Gone are the days of long hours cramming in the UgLi or the Duderstadt Center, stressing over midterms, and attending classes. Completing your degree is an exciting achievement, but stepping into the business world can be intimidating. Don’t worry – we’ve got your back!

We are excited to announce that the CFE has officially launched our new networking platform tailored for entrepreneurs, the Wolverine Entrepreneurs Hub(WEhub). WEhub was designed to help entrepreneurial U-M alumni find new opportunities and connect with fellow Wolverines. Here’s how you can make the most of it:

  • Find People: Use the People tool to search for other Wolverines by location, sector, company, or interests. This feature allows you to connect with individuals who share your professional interests and goals.
  • Mentorship: Join the mentorship program to get guidance from alumni experts across various fields and industries. Mentors can provide valuable advice, share their experiences, and help you navigate your career.
  • Jobs & Co-Founders: Check out the job board for new opportunities or find a co-founder for your startup. You can also post job openings to attract top talent from the Wolverine community.
  • Events: Participate in online and offline events to expand your network and stay updated with the latest industry trends.
  • Groups: Join groups based on your interests or location to receive targeted content and connect with like-minded individuals.

WEhub is a great place to start, but it’s important to develop some foundational networking skills to use it to its full potential. Whether you’re looking for a job, a co-founder, or simply wanting to stay connected with fellow Wolverines, building a strong network can open many doors. Here are five tips to get you started on your path to becoming a networking expert.

1. Refine Your Elevator Pitch

When it comes to networking, it’s important to make an impression right off the bat. It takes about 30 seconds to ride in an elevator with someone, which is where the name “elevator pitch” comes from. Come up with a short, concise, and memorable introduction that conveys your goals and relevant experience. Here’s an example:

Hello, my name is _____. I recently graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in _____. I recently worked on ________. I’m interested in learning more about _______. Can you tell me more about your work in this field?

Once you’ve got your pitch down, practice and re-word until it feels natural. You’ll be making stellar first impressions in no time!

2. Be Yourself

Being genuine is at the heart of effective networking. By being yourself and showing genuine interest in others, you have the ability to create deeper and more meaningful connections. This not only makes networking more enjoyable but also lays the foundation for long-lasting professional relationships. Remember, networking isn’t about collecting business cards—it’s about cultivating real connections that can lead to mutual growth and support.

3. Get Social

Social media platforms, especially LinkedIn, are powerful tools for networking. Connect with professionals in your field, join relevant groups, and participate in discussions. Share your achievements, post industry-related content, and engage with others’ posts to increase your visibility. Make sure your profile is complete and up to date, reflecting your education, experience, and skills.

4. Attend Networking Events

The best way to practice networking is to get out there and meet new people! Networking events are a great way to make connections and learn about different industries. Attend as many events as you can, whether they are hosted by U-M, professional organizations, or other networking groups. Be prepared to introduce yourself, share your career goals, and ask insightful questions. 

5. Follow Up

So, you’ve made an exciting new connection. Now what? Similarly to a job interview, you’ll want to follow up within 24 hours. Write an email or LinkedIn message thanking your new connection for speaking with you. Be sure to mention one or two details of your conversation to spark their memory (bonus points if you have a shared interest or spoke about something unique!). Finally, set a time to speak with them again to continue developing your professional relationship. For more follow up tips, check out this guide by Indeed.

Networking is an ongoing process that requires time and effort, but with the right strategies and a bit of practice, you can build a strong professional network that supports your career growth. Welcome to the next chapter of your journey, and remember, once a Wolverine, always a Wolverine!

Download the Wolverine Hub App for your iPhone

Download the Wolverine Hub App for Android

Interested in developing your professional skills in the entrepreneurial world? Browse our course guide or make an appointment with a CFE advisor to jumpstart your journey.



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