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How to be a girl boss tips to take the stress out of networking

26 May 2017
Sydney alumni form network to kick-start women’s careers
In their final year of study at the University of Sydney, Nina Khoury and Adriana Stefanatos created the ENID Network to help women start their careers. Ahead of their upcoming on-campus event, Nina shared 5 networking tips.

Recent graduates Nina (B. Commerce (Honours)/ B. Law 2016) and Adriana (B. Commerce (Liberal Studies) 2016) are on a mission to empower young women through the ENID Network; a careers support program named after Enid Lyons, the first woman to be elected to Australia’s House of Representatives and Nina’s great, great aunt. Their objective is to give girls in high school and uni the ‘big sister’ advice they wished they had received.

The ENID Network connects students with relatable young women who have forged considerable success in their fields. These ‘girl bosses’ provide meaningful career advice and help students discover new opportunities. They achieve this by creating digital content, running high school workshops, and hosting on-campus events at the University of Sydney. In the future, Nina and Adriana plan to expand their community of young women across Australian campuses.

On 1 June, ENID will collaborate with the University’s Network of Women (NOW) to bring young alumni back to campus for a networking evening.

“At the ENID x NOW Networking Event, you’ll meet girls aged 24-28 who are fabulous and doing great things,” says Nina. “These girls are relatable, and have just experienced the processes that you’re going through; they’re girls who you could probably go and get a coffee with, but they’re also going to be your role models.” 

The alumni community at the University of Sydney is so fantastic, and I don’t think students realise how much alumni want to give back and how much they have to offer.

One of the biggest challenges of getting established in the professional world is navigating through the sometimes dreaded process of ‘networking’. But it needn’t be scary, as Nina explains ahead of the evening; sharing her top 5 tips to take the stress out of networking:

1. Know your worth

“When I went to networking events during university, I’d sometimes worry that I was a burden or wasting their time,” Nina says. “Go with the mindset that people are there to talk to you, that your story is meaningful and valuable, and that there’ll always be something about you that resonates with someone there.”

2. Make ‘career friends’

“Networking can seem scary and out of reach, or have connotations of exploitation. But I just see it as meeting really interesting people or ‘career friends’ who might influence my career path,” she says.

“The alumni community at the University of Sydney is so fantastic, and I don’t think students realise how much alumni want to give back and how much they have to offer. They’re part of ENID’s network because they really want to give back by passing on tips, insights and experiences.”

3. Ask dumb questions

“Approach networking events with a really open mind – we want girls to come to our evenings because they want to learn and take something away,” explains Nina. “It’s a place where you can ask the dumb questions and no-one’s going to judge you. They’re questions that everyone’s had, it’s just that sometimes you can’t find the answer in a simple way.”

4. Look to your classmates

“My time studying here has given me so many connections – the people I’ve met through my studies are my network, and I can say pretty comfortably that I can reach out to any of them to ask for tangible advice, assistance and support.”

5. Nail the follow-up

“Always follow up – if you meet someone really great, take their card and send them an email in a week or so saying, ‘I really appreciate your time and advice, I’d love to grab a coffee in the near future and pick your brain some more’,” Nina suggests.

If you'd love to attend an event or get involved with the ENID Network send an email to Adriana and Nina at enid@enidnetwork.com