Building Your Network

By: Danielle Fitzpatrick – 2nd Year – Health Policy & Management

The idea of networking may seem slightly daunting but with the right tips – it is a piece of cake!

1. Get a Mentor

I signed up for the Mentoring Program at RSPH for my first- year. I was paired with a recent Health Policy and Management graduate who had a strong research background and worked as a consultant for a Big 4 Consulting Firm. A mentor is GREAT to have as they provide career and coursework suggestions and most importantly, SUPPORT! My mentor was a key resource for connecting me with his network based on my career interests and goals.

2. Connect with Colleagues from Work or an Internship

During my summer internship at Emory Healthcare, I realized my strong passion for Strategy and Operations. I asked my supervisor and director to suggest healthcare leaders I can talk to. I am very happy I explored my interests. Speaking to leaders exposed me to a variety of healthcare issues and made me think strategically on my role as a future healthcare professional.

3. Set up Coffee Conversations

Taking the plunge and setting up a networking coffee conversation may seem scary. (A coffee conversation is an informal way to allow one to network with a person of interest- professor, healthcare leader, etc.) To set up a coffee conversation, communicate your interest and set up a convenient time to meet at a local coffee shop.

My main objective for setting up numerous coffee convos was to develop a relationship with the person of interest. By showcasing my own strengths, goals, and future career interests, the healthcare professional was able to expose me to new literature and/or programs to expand my knowledge and future success.  

Not only do you get to enjoy a delicious cup of joe, you get to learn more about a new person and even about yourself and future goals/interests.

Last tip: Always send a thank you card/email after each Coffee Conversation and remember to stay in touch 😊

Remember to always be yourself and have fun while networking!