Networking by forrests

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									Networking Report Instructions and Grade Sheet
Entrepreneurship Individual Assignment Worth Up to 75 Points

Purpose
Entrepreneurs must constantly attend business-related networking events to promote their business, meet potential vendors, and seek feedback from others on their business concepts. Studies have shown that business owners who have developed extensive networks have more successful businesses. This assignment will introduce you to networking, understand the value of networking, and help you to develop the skill of networking.

Overview
This is an individual assignment. Each student will attend a business meeting such as a chamber of commerce function, business leads group, or other networking meeting, and then submit a report on your experience. This event must occur during this term. Obtain instructor approval for the meeting before you attend. You are expected to practice your networking skills to meet a minimum of five (5) people. Review information in the text on pages 260-261, 289, and Table 10.3 on page 290. You will need to obtain your own business cards before you attend a networking event. Check with local printers as well as online. Try www.businesscardsfast.com ($9.99 plus shipping and handling of $6.00) and www.vistaprint.com (cards are free, pay shipping and handling of $8.95). You can also purchase business card stock at an office supply store and print them from your computer; be aware that the quality of this paper is generally considered to be inferior, but this is acceptable in the business world for students completing a college assignment. Do not use this type of paper for career related purposes as it portrays a negative image. You may attend an event as a team or in smaller groups, but each student is expected to individually practice networking with five different people. None of these can be your fellow students. If you do not collect 5 different business cards to use in your report, then you must attend additional networking events until you have collected a total of 5 business cards that are different from any other student in this class. If you have duplicate cards you will both lose 10% of your grade on this assignment. Note: don’t procrastinate on this; get started early in the term!

Before Attending the Event
Choose an event that will help you to research your team’s business. Submit an event announcement or brochure to obtain approval to complete your Networking assignment at this particular event. Get my initials on the announcement, and keep it to attach to your Networking Report.

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Preparation (These tasks will help to reduce any apprehension you might have.)
        Purchase Business Cards – info to include, email address, paper choice, where to get them printed. Choose Proper Business Attire – wear your interview suit; choose solid colors, plain/simple accessories and makeup, polished shoes. Women’s shoes should be closed-toe; men’s socks should be dark and cover the ankle. When you call to register ask about the typical attire. Information About the Event – determine the purpose of the event, directions to location, time to arrive, where to park, and cost. Ask if there is a discount for UCF students as most organizations typically want to encourage students to attend. Key People attending the event – this will help you to have meaningful conversations. Practice Handshake – firm, use whole hand (not just fingers). Remember Names – people are impressed when you remember their names. Jot notes on the back of their business cards to help you remember them. Read the newspaper on the day of the event – this will help you to have something interesting to discuss. Plan What to Say – develop a “30-Second Elevator Speech” about the reason why you are attending the event. Everyone will expect you to be looking for information, advice, or an opportunity to talk about your business. While you most likely change what you actually say, you need to be prepared to say something intelligent. This will help reduce nervousness. Remember that you represent UCF and the College of Business Administration. It is extremely important that you are professional and polite. This is a heavy responsibility; take it seriously.

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During the Event:
1. Name Tag – Write your first name in large letters so others can read it easily. Try to put it on your right shoulder. 2. Payment Receipt – Keep the receipt for tax purposes and for proof you attended this event. If you did not receive a payment receipt, obtain some document that you can turn in with your report as proof that you actually attended. 3. Territorial or Personal Space Considerations – Be aware that some people prefer to stand very close to others, while others prefer to have more space from others. Do not be offended if someone wants to step back away from you; it is not personal. 4. Cultural Differences – In some cultures even strangers kiss; be aware of cultural differences. 5. Nesting vs. Roaming – You may prefer to “nest” in one area of the room when you first arrive, but hopefully you will soon venture out and roam around the room to meet new people. 6. Know Staff of Key People – These people can help you to get started meeting other attendees at the event. 7. Act Like a Host – You are president of the new network that you are creating by meeting the people at this event. Greet other people, be helpful, and try to make others feel comfortable. Introduce people to people that you have already met. 8. Topics of Discussions – talk about your company. Use this as an opportunity to test your Concept Statement. Showcase your knowledge and capabilities. Find out what other people need that you could deliver, but do not make promises that you cannot deliver. 9. How to Introduce Yourself – Deliver your 30 second elevator speech. Be prepared to change it to better fit a typical conversation. 10. How to Move On to Meet Someone Else – This is oftentimes the hardest thing to master. Practice it with other people before you go to the event. 11. Exchange Business Cards – Keep your cards separate from the cards you collect from others. Jot notes on people’s cards so you can remember them in the future.
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12. Listen More Than You Talk – This is how you will find people who can help you. 13. Food, Drink, and Networking – It is very difficult to try to shake hands, drink, talk, and eat at the same time. Your hands will get wet from your glass, you might drip messy food on your clothes, or worse! The best suggestion is to network for a little while, then invite someone to get a drink and food with you, and then go back to networking after you’ve finished the food and drink. 14. Personal Safety - Be aware of your personal safety just as you would be at any other organization meeting. If you attend an event where alcohol is served you should exercise extra caution.

After the Event:
    Thank All Sponsors and Send Thank You to Event Leaders - Call, email, or send a note. Develop “Tickler” File for Future Follow-Ups – This is your network now! Follow up on Promises Quickly – If you do not live up to your promises to do something, all your effort will be wasted as you will have ruined your reputation. Write a 3 to 4-page report using the outline below.

Report Outline
1. Event Description: Discuss the name of event, the organization sponsoring the event, the date, time, and location of event, why you chose to attend this particular event instead of another, the advertised price, and the price you actually paid. 2. Elevator Speech: What did you plan to say? What did you actually end up saying? 3. What Was Most Difficult: What were your concerns before you arrived at the event? What was difficult once you arrived at the event? 4. What Was Easier Than You Expected: What went better than you thought it would? What pleasant surprises did you have? 5. Information, Leads, and Referrals Obtained: What information did you get that will help your team’s business? What information did you get that will help your career? What other important information did you get? 6. Why is “Who You Know” as important as “What You Know”? - Could you achieve either one with the other? 7. Importance of Networking: What did you think of networking before you attended this event? What do you think of networking after the event? Why do you think networking is important to entrepreneurs? 8. Conclusion: Briefly discuss the most important points about your experience.

9. Appendix – if all three of these documents are not included, the report will not be graded until they have been provided. If not provided, the report will receive zero (0) points.  event announcement with Ms. Holland’s initials to authorize it,  proof of your attendance (registration receipt or confirmation letter), and
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 a photocopy of at least 5 business cards you received from at least 5 business people that are different from other students’ business cards. Do not turn in the actual business cards. Format:
    Instead of a cover sheet, use the Grade Sheet on the next page as your cover sheet. Your paper should be three to four pages long, be double spaced, and have page numbers. Use a minimum of a 12 point font, headings and subheadings, and 1” margins. Staple your paper and the supporting documents together in the top left corner.

Cautions!
 Review the Business Writer’s Companion or the Cornerstone Writing Handbook to insure your writing skills meet requirements. Your writing skills must be suitable for your report to be submitted to a lender or investor. Proof read your paper to insure there are no problems with your writing skills. You will lose 3 points for each error; you can lose up to 50% of your points for poor writing skills. Late papers will lose the equivalent of one letter grade for each 24 hours that they are late. Compare your content and format with these instructions. You will lose points if you have not followed directions. Some students forget to attach the supporting appendix documents. Review the document on my website, Grading Guidelines for Papers and Presentations, to determine the level of effort you need to exert in order to earn the grade you want.

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 Don’t forget to submit this report to Turnitin.com. Your paper may be graded and returned to you, however, your grade is not final until a satisfactory report has been received from Turnitin.com You will get a 0 if you forget.

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Networking Report Grade Sheet
Entrepreneurship
Attach this Grade Sheet as your Cover Page Student: ______________________ Team: __________________ Date: ______ Possible Points Event Description (Name of event, organization, date, time, location, why chosen, price advertised and price paid.) Instructor Feedback: 5 Your Points

Elevator Speech (What student planned to say and what evolved.) Instructor Feedback: What Was Most Difficult (Concerns before event and at event.) Instructor Feedback:

10

10

What Was Easier Than Expected (What went better and pleasant surprises.) Instructor Feedback: Information, Leads, Referrals (To help team’s business, student’s career, other important information.) Instructor Feedback: Why is “Who You Know” as important as “What You Know”? - Could you achieve either one with the other? Instructor Feedback: Importance of Networking (Thoughts before event, after event, why important to entrepreneurs.) Instructor Feedback:

10

10

10

15

VII. Conclusion (Key points about experience.) Instructor Feedback: 5 VIII. Appendix (If these documents are not included, the report will not be graded until they have been provided. If not provided, the report will receive zero (0) points: Event announcement w/authorization, proof of attendance, and photocopy of business cards.) Instructor Feedback: Level of Student’s Effort, and Creativity and Innovation. Instructor Feedback: Points Deducted for failure to follow instructions or poor writing skills or lack of submission to Turnitin.com. Total Points n/a n/a

5

75

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