Lines of Communication

by Beckie Stokes

We talk about it all the time – networking. We know how important it is. But what if you’ve lost touch with someone who was very influential at some point in your life? How do you reconnect in a meaningful way without sounding creepy or needy?

LinesOfCommunicationI recently heard a story on NPR interviewing Wharton’s very own Adam Grant, professor of management, that gives tips on tackling just that. You can check out the whole story here, but the takeaway is basically this: as with all effective networking, be genuine and make it about them, not about you. Emphasize that they were important in your life. Seek to catch up on what’s been happening with both of you – not with the end goal of talking about yourself and your aspirations and how they can boost you, but on what you can offer them. Whether or not you’re starting a job or internship in the coming weeks, no matter if you’re about to graduate (congrats seniors!) or you still have a few more years to go at Penn, it’s always a good time to get back in touch with the people who have meant the most to you.