Home Tags Business


How to Make Business Connections After Graduation

In the business world, developing great relationships with professionals in your field as well as in affiliated fields is essential. These connections can be used for everything from getting great deals on products and services to providing you with helpful advice, and more. So if you have recently left university, here are our top tips on how to make better business connections after graduation.

1. Develop your personal “infrastructure”

Before you think about getting more business connections, it is important to spend time reflecting on your technological infrastructure. Do you have the right business internet and phone service to foster great communications? Do you need to upgrade your smartphone or tablet for easier contact management? Should you invest in a client-relationship management program? Are your social media pages up-to-scratch, and reflective of your abilities as a business professional? These factors can all affect your ability to track and communicate with your contacts. With the right tech behind you, connecting with other professionals will become easier.

2. Attend trade shows

A great way to meet new players in your field and in related fields is to attend trade shows. Initially, focus your effort on trade shows that will be in your area. Other professionals that work in your industry will be keen to reach out to you as well. So look for in-person networking opportunities and go to as many as you can. Getting your face out there will make a huge difference.

Consider the benefit of travelling to other cities for larger events as well. Travelling beyond your community is generally only necessary if you work in a field with a larger service area or base, rather than in a localised position.

3. Participate in local organisations

Another great way to meet more people in your field is to research related and affiliated organisations and trade associations in your area. These associations may have networking events for members, such as luncheons, networking happy hours and more. Find active associations and join them to start participating in these events more regularly to meet with competitors and new members as well.

Joining social media groups will also provide you with a community of professionals that work in your industry. These professionals will understand what you do for work and can provide a great support network if you’re looking for advice.

4. Think outside the box

There are many ways to make great connections with others in your field. For example, you can find top players through industry chat rooms and you can reach out to them personally through email or a phone call. You may attend a social event and make business connections randomly. Because you never know when you will make a connection, you should always have business cards or your cell phone on hand. Be sure to update your online accounts and become active on many different sites.

The most successful individuals are those who know all the top players in the industry and who work with them regularly. As an aspiring professional who has recently graduated, you have a lot of relationship-building in front of you.

Special thanks to Eileen O’Shanassy for providing us with this article. Eileen is a freelance writer and blogger based out of Flagstaff, AZ. She writes on a variety of topics and loves to research and write. She enjoys baking, biking, and kayaking, and you can find her on Twitter @eileenoshanassy.

Enjoyed this article? Check out our other business articles.

From China to Australia: Janice’s Hotel Management degree abroad


Janice studied her Hotel Management degree at Griffith University, Australia. This is her story.

Janice has just turned 25 and is from Guilin in the Guangxi Province of China. She’s full of energy and optimism. Her openness to talk about why she studied her hotel management degree abroad is admirable. I asked her why she chose to leave China in the first place.

Why study abroad?

“I would say I have always wanted to study overseas. But what made it happen was partly the system in China. Back home, I would have had to study a major that I didn’t like, at a university I didn’t like, and even in a city I didn’t like!

“In China, the education system is quite extreme in terms of competitiveness because of the large population. I had a really tough time in year 12, and no matter how hard I worked I just couldn’t get a score that would get me where I wanted to go. You can study for 12-16 years for a college entrance exam which determines your university. If you’re not happy, you can’t change it unless you go back and do year 12 again. I was so stressed with severe anxiety and major issues with self-worth.

“Basically, I almost failed to get into any university, but eventually I got into one which I didn’t like. It felt like I had no choice but to study there and I just wasn’t enjoying life, so I quit. That’s when I started applying to universities overseas. Luckily, I had a good IELTS score which I took originally just because I wanted to improve my English, not apply overseas, but it became very useful. 

“I knew I wanted to do a master’s abroad one day and I realised that the difference in cost between a master’s and a bachelors wasn’t that great. This made me see that I did have a choice, so I just changed my mind and my family fully supported that. It was the best decision I’ve ever made.”

Why study a hotel management degree in Australia?

“Well, I didn’t want to go to America or Canada because it was four years to finish a degree. And the reason I didn’t choose the UK was that (I don’t want to offend you) but I do like nice sunshine!” 

I assured Janice that I wasn’t offended!

“Yes, I just thought that if I chose a rainy or gloomy place my whole mood would be heavily impacted, so I felt like I needed a place that’s got nice weather. Other factors that helped me choose Australia was the flexibility over changing courses, and the ability to work on a student visa. Here, if you apply for a hotel management degree at the beginning, it’s quite easy for you to change your mind. Also, universities here have strong connections internationally, so you can always do an exchange for one semester or something like that.”

Find out more about Janice’s time at Griffith University here.

Griffith University
Click to find out more

Janice’s degree in Business and Hotel Management in Australia


Janice studied her bachelor’s degree in Business and Hotel Management at Griffith University in Australia. This is her story.

She’s an international student from Guilin, Guangxi Province in China. After graduating, she decided to stay in Gold Coast, Australia where she works in high-end retail. We asked her about her time at university, and why she chose to study Business and Hotel Management.

Why Business and Hotel Management

“I wanted to study Business and Hotel Management as it’s a very practical course. I thought it was very well organised because it deals with the financial side, marketing and even the front office. This offers every perspective on how you run a hotel. They also taught me how to use the programs that hotels use. So students are fully prepared before they actually work in a hotel.

“The lectures, like the course, are very well organised. I really liked the tutorials here because they are small which meant they gave their full attention to every student. For example, I found the topic of Legal Issues very hard, but I received a reference letter from my lecturer. He said that I was very hardworking and that I had put a lot of effort into this course. He gave me lots of recognition for my work which really pleased me and motivated me to continue to work hard.

Why Business and Hotel Management at Griffith University?

“Although I am from a very small city back in China, my city is very famous for tourism. I had always wanted to do something related to that field, like Hospitality and Tourism Management. Unlike Canada and the USA, a bachelor’s degree in Australia is a three-year degree, not four. So that was an advantage because it shortened the time that I spent overseas, reducing the costs.

“While my parents had always wanted me to go to a famous University, I was more interested in going somewhere that would teach me something useful and practical. Whenever I told agents that I wanted to do Hotel Management, they referred me to Griffith University. Even though this initially did not grab my attention, so many agents continually reaffirmed that it was an outstanding and very real-world orientated. So good, in fact, that I began to look at student reviews. Immediately, I noticed the diversity of students at Griffith. What really enticed me was the local students, who gave really positive reviews of the university. The rest is history, as they say. In the end, I did lots of research before I came to Australia and I definitely do not regret my choice.

“Since my parents had to pay my tuition fees, costs were important. Griffith is not super expensive compared to other Universities in Queensland – it was nearly half the cost. International students like me, whose families have to pay all the tuition fees, really have to take that into consideration. The application process was pretty straightforward and because I made sure I achieved a high IELTS score, I could go straight into my degree and avoid studying at a college or language school.”

Find out more about why Janice chose to study in Australia here. 

Griffith University
Click to find out more

A future in International Energy Economics – Hermann’s story


Hermann: Protecting the planet with a degree in International Energy Economics

I caught up with Hermann via a video call and, apart from his time studying abroad at Western Sydney University, I knew nothing about him. By the end of our conversation, I was astonished at how much he has already fitted into his 22 years. I asked him about his current degree in International Energy Economics.

“I’m currently studying International Energy Economics at the University of Applied Sciences in Ulm, southern Germany. As the name suggests, it’s a combination of computer science (data analytics, mostly), energy engineering and business studies relating to the energy sector. I completed my sixth semester abroad at Western Sydney University in Australia, now in my seventh semester. I’m currently writing my thesis with my bachelor’s degree graduation in March.

“My semester abroad made me want to continue using my English, so I’m currently working as a Student Assistant at the International Office. Because I was an international student myself, I can empathise with the internationals here. I know how it feels, being in a new country and some of the difficulties that can cause, so I can help them.”

Why study International Energy Economics?

Hermann’s enthusiasm for his chosen field was striking. I wondered why he chose to go in this direction, and if he had ever considered anything else. It was towards the end of his high school studies that he chose the energy sector, making a big shift from his previous plans.

“At the very beginning I wanted to become a banker; you could say I was just after the money! But then a visiting professor from The Biberach University of Applied Sciences delivered a presentation in my school about renewable energy sources. He talked about sustainability and how we need to protect the environment, using my home region as an example. It changed everything.

“I’m from a town that’s really close to nature. Five minutes by bike and you’re outside in the forest or you can go swimming in the lake. I realised that the professor was right – we have beautiful landscapes here, close to the Alps and close to Lake Constance. It’s beautiful, it’s green and there is so much nature. His presentation reinforced the importance of protecting all that, rather than running off to chase the money. I think I was only two or three weeks from my final exams when I switched. I was about to enter a programme offered by Deutsche Bank but that persuasive and inspiring talk made me change my mind.”

Find out more about Hermann’s time as an international student in Australia.

Western Sydney University banner
Click to find out more

From Germany to Sydney: Why Hermann chose to study business abroad


Hermann is in his final year studying at the University of Applied Sciences in Ulm, Germany. He chose to study Business abroad in Australia for a semester at Western Sydney University. This is his story.

Why study abroad in Australia?

“I really wanted to study business abroad, so I started doing some research on universities overseas. Personally, I didn’t want to stay in Europe and so I decided on somewhere different – Australia. Being in the city was also a big thing for me. So I was looking at studying in either Melbourne or Sydney. I came across Western Sydney University and I really liked the look of it. It also offered some good study scholarships as well, so that was a bonus.

“I used an organisation called GOstralia! that helps students travel to Australia and New Zealand to study. They were great, and they made the application process pretty straightforward. I sent them all the application forms and then they went through them to check that everything was right. Then they send everything to the university and afterwards, I got my letter of acceptance!

hermann and friends“Western Sydney University contacted me directly via email, then I was able to say yes or no. It was pretty simple. Then I just had to pay the tuition fees and choose my units. Afterwards, I got support from Isis Kowaliauskas and Rohan McCarthy-Gill in the International Department at the university. They provided video conferences explaining everything about the university – things to know, what stuff to bring with us from home and so on.

“I chose to study business, which is taught at the Parramatta Campus. This is where I took most of my classes – modules such as ‘Creating Change and Innovation’, ‘Business, Society and Policy’ and ‘Psychology: Human Behaviour’. These units are not necessarily related to my field of study back home in Germany, where I’m an engineering student. But I wanted to try out something new, and I thought technology and business were some interesting subjects.”

Why study business at WSU?

“In terms of the course, there was a wide selection of units to choose from. I wanted to use my semester overseas to do something new, working in areas that I’m not that confident in and will be useful in the future. This was the main reason I chose to study business abroad. I’m really interested in the field of entrepreneurship so I did ‘Business, Society and Policy’ and ‘Creating Change and Innovation’.

“The courses I chose were really good and really interesting. They were delivered through a mixture of lectures and seminars and tutorials. But besides that, there were a lot of assignments such as writing essays, group reports, quizzes, doing presentations, etc. You actually have to do a lot of work throughout the semester, which we don’t necessarily do in Germany. It was actually quite good because it encouraged you to learn. In Germany, you just have one exam at the end of the semester, and everything depends on that single exam.

“The teaching staff at the university were very good, but it was different compared to the bigger universities in Germany. At home, you can sit in a lecture theatre with 300 students and no interaction with the professor. So you feel more afraid to ask questions because of the group size. When I went to study business abroad at Western Sydney, it was a really nice experience, similar to being back in school with smaller groups of 30 or 40 people. The professors were also different – in Germany, a lot of professors at universities focus on doing research, so their teaching styles are not very good. But in Australia, you could really see that the professors cared for you and they wanted you to learn – a slightly more personal touch.”

Find out more about Hermann’s time at WSU and travels to Southeast Asia.

Western Sydney University banner
Click for more information