By: Anne Hwang ‘23
Webinars have truly become the new of learning and networking in 2020. With the transition to online learning and virtual work, webinars have enabled colleges and universities to continue to host career fairs or industry workshops for their students. If you’re familiar with Macaulay’s Career Development office, then you’ve probably heard of our Industry Talks or Professional Lunch Series webinars that highlight a panel of speakers or one featured speaker from a particular field.
When attending a webinar, most students aim to learn more from the professionals about their experiences and about the field of interest. In addition, webinars are also a great way to network and build connections with the panelists, so here are 3 tips you should know on making a good impression at a webinar.
Be Punctual, Listen Actively, and Ask Insightful Questions
It should go without saying that punctuality is always a key factor when making first impressions. When attending an in person event, we all know how awkward it can be to walk in late, and therefore we try to avoid it. Yet with virtual meetings, it’s easier to get away with being late without being noticed. However, if you want to make a good impression, show up on time to show your professionalism.
During the course of the webinar, you should also listen actively to what the presenter is saying, and you can even jot down notes or questions. If there is a Q&A session at the end of the event (which I have found typically is one), be sure to ask a few of your insightful questions to show you were engaged throughout the session. The more well thought out your questions are, the more likely you are to be remembered by the panelist(s).
Dress Professionally and Turn on Your Camera
Although many of us have become accustomed to rocking out our pajamas while participating in webinars with the camera off, it’s best to avoid doing this if you can. Panelists and speakers often take the time to prepare for the event by dressing professionally and having their cameras set up nicely. If you want to stand out and you have the ability to sit in a quiet, well-lit room, put on some nice business casual attire, and turn on your camera. You will definitely stand out in the sea of dark boxes with names.
Connect with the Speakers After the Event
Almost every speaker or panelist is more than willing to speak with students and connect after the webinar. Generally, students will be provided with their email addresses or LinkedIn profile, allowing students to build a connection with the panelist. If you’ve built up a good impression for yourself throughout the event, you should definitely connect with the speakers afterwards. When sending a LinkedIn connection, make sure to write a note kindly reminding the speaker where they know you from, and if you’re sending them an email, make sure to do the same and follow proper business email etiquette.
Interested in writing a blog for the Career Development blog? It’s open to Macaulay students and alums. If you would like to contribute or have any questions, feel free to email Jamie.Ruden@mhc.cuny.edu.