“Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.” To be fair, the forthcoming situation isn’t really the best representation of Murphy’s Law, but my classmate mentioned it as an immediate reaction, so I figured it can’t be THAT far off base!
I’ve mentioned before that MBA students dress much better than undergrad students, mainly as a function of coming to class directly from the office. I’ve got mid-terms this week, so I intentionally came into the office early to allow myself time leave early to go home, change clothes, and eat a snack before heading to the exam. Lo and behold, the one day that I don’t dress like a professional to attend class, there’s someone there who I’d really like to network with! Our professor is speaking at a conference on the other side of the world, so his TA came to proctor the exam. She gave us a little bit of her background information, and it turns out that she was the HR Manager for a large company that I’d be interested in working for someday. Yeah, not the best time to be dressed in yoga pants, tank top, and casual sweater! Thus, I decided to send her an email to see if she’d have a moment to let me buy her a coffee and discuss future opportunities at the company. She’s a fairly young doctoral student at the moment, so I’m sure she would’ve excused my appearance on exam day, but still… the first impression is extremely important, and I think more professional attire would have been helpful in this situation.
Have you ever been caught in the perfect networking opportunity, but lacked a resume, business card, or professional attire? I think another cliche applies… “Be prepared!”