Part 1 (around 500-750 words)
Read the article by Brian Uzzi and Shannon Dunlap (2005), �How to build your network�, Harvard Business Review, in the Course e-Reader.
Create a table similar to the one entitled �How to map your network� on page 56 and fill this table in, as it relates to one particular aspect of your life (eg. career aspirations, work, study, sport, extra-curricular activities etc.). Remember to give the table an appropriate title, and clearly identify the Superconnectortor�.
Write a description and analysis (around 500 words) explaining the connections between each of the people in your network, identifying the ‘Superconnector�, how you met, how they contribute to your area of interest, and so on. Analyse the network by drawing on ideas from Uzzi and Dunlap (2005); for example, which of the principles discussed Uzzi and Dunlap are evident in your network? Please use Harvard author-date referencing. Conclude by demonstrating how you will improve this network in the future.
Part 2 (around 500-750 words)
Set up a Professional Networking Profile, using LinkedIn (www.linkedin.com) or a similar professional networking tool. It is important to note Facebook, Google + and MySpace are not acceptable – it must be a professional networking site, not a social networking site.
The following minimum profile fields must be completed:
Photo – note, this should be a professional representation of you, not a photo taken at a party, at the beach etc.
Summary – a summary of ‘who you are’ professionally, and your career goal for the next two years (i.e. when you graduate, what kind of a role will you be looking for)
Work Experience – including Employer’s name, employment dates and your responsibilities
Education – including your current course of education, and prior studies (including High School)
Honors and Awards – any awards you have received, such as the Dean’s Merit List, Senior School Captain in High School, Sporting Team Captain etc. including relevant details such as the date & name of the award (only include activities from senior high school or more recent)
You may choose to complete additional fields as applicable to you.
As this is your professional profile, and you will be using it to contact potential employers and professional contacts, you will need to ensure your profile is well written, structured and edited, and uses professional language. As LinkedIn doesn’t have a ‘spell check’ capability, it may be worthwhile typing your sections into a Word document and editing to ensure your spelling and grammar is correct, then cutting and pasting into LinkedIn fields.
Once you have set up your profile, connect with a minimum of 5 new contacts (these contacts should not be your friends). Using your knowledge of networking, make sure you choose appropriate people to connect with, who are in your current network or you have an appropriate reason for contacting. Personalise your contact message to be individual to each connection you make.
Once your profile is complete, take suitable screen shots of your profile that demonstrate you have completed the fields required (including your photo) and include as an appendix in your assignment. Assignments submitted without this screen shot will receive 0 marks for this section. To take a screen shot, select [ctrl] and [print screen] (or just [print screen], depending on your computers keyboard) and paste into a blank Word document.
Questions for reflection:
1. When establishing your profile, which sections did you find most difficult to complete and why?
2. When making contact with people in your network what was your most effective strategy?
3. Based on your experience and the eReadings, what are some suggestions for approaching new contacts in the future?
4. Did you join any groups or start to follow any companies when you set up your profile? If yes, which ones and why? If not, why not?
5. What did you learn about yourself and others in your network from this exercise?
6. What did you learn about the value of professional networking sites from this task?
Using a basic report style, provide a simple introduction providing background information on LinkedIn contacts you have chosen to contact (including why you chose to contact them). Then use the �Questions for reflection� as the structure for rest of this part of the assignment (i.e. the body of your report). It is expected that you will use ideas from the de Janasz, Dowd and Schneider (2006) eReading in your analysis and reflection, and that you include a conclusion.
Note: the Questions for Reflection should not be used as subheadings in your Part 2 – they are provided as a guide to assist in your reflection and analysis.