“Personal relationships are always the key to good business. You can buy networking; you can’t buy friendships.” –Lindsay Fox.
We started out the morning in the auditorium and separated students into their respective small groups. Then the resident business leaders came around to each individual group every five minutes and answered questions about their career. At the end, there was a time to exchange contact information, which taught students the proper way to ask an acquaintance to keep in touch in the future. It is self-evident that so much of business success is centered on networking. Therefore, MBV has made it a priority to properly train its student how to build professional connections.
After a company meeting, all small groups gathered in the SJU lawn to play Camp Jam, the most effectual team building exercise that MBV has manufactured thus far. Each small group gathers at a table and is given a list of papers with semi vague instructions detailing how they can complete objectives to win points. Teams must utilize talents from athleticism to philosophical thinking to complete all the tasks. After a one-hour struggle, the teams left the lawns looking as if they had been friends for years. One member said that his group “felt a little awkward before Camp Jam” but that afterwards “we discovered each other’s strengths and weakness, and now we really feel like a team.”
In addition, students were able to attend breakout sessions from various presenters on topics that were related to catalyzing professionalism. Topics ranged anywhere from how to set yourself apart on LinkedIn to presentation skills. Some students even stayed after to get contact information from the business leaders they’d heard from.
Next, students gathered outside and put their professional socializing skills to the test with some speed networking. Prompted by a list that required students to talk to a variety of RBL’s, BestPrep staff and peers, the campers did an astounding job getting out of their comfort zone and talking to strangers at camp. Best of all, there was a certain exciting atmosphere that could be felt in the smiles and conversations of all who partook.
This was followed by a panel with five Saint John’s representatives on college preparation. To conclude the day, Saint John’s staff grilled a barbecue for the MBV camp. There is a reason that networking was a focus on the second say of camp. It is to make sure that when our campers go to sleep at night, they can have a base of skill which will allow them to be confident when speaking with new people. Then, as camp progresses, they can continue to sharpen this skill. We had an amazing day today and tomorrow is sure to be even better!