How to Work the Room: Networking Step-by-Step


Looking to sharpen your networking or conversation skills? Unsure of how to grow your professional connections? Bad at small talk? Networking is an essential part of developing your professional network and maintaining relationships. The event will begin with a brief panel from our speakers, topical breakout sessions, and, of course, some networking (so bring your cards).

Our speakers will offer insights into successful networking practices and help you get the most out of your interactions by gaining the tools and confidence to approach, speak, and engage with strangers. Learn practical steps that you can take before, during, and after any networking event to build a strong professional network. Afterall, your time is just as valuable as strong, professional connections, so join us to learn how to get the most out of a networking event, because news flash: networking never ends.

This program is designed for anyone looking to gain confidence and strengthen their networking skills, including job-seekers or job-changers, introverts or extroverts, students, and even seasoned professionals needing a refresher.

Our Panelists

Nicole Schutz is currently the Senior Area Sales Manager for the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel, Thompson Chicago, and the Talbott Hotel. She has been with the company for nearly five years and previously worked as the Business Travel Sales Manager with one of the Joie de Vivre brands, Hotel Lincoln, and the Crowne Plaza Chicago Metro. Nicole began her sales career in Operations with La Quinta Inn & Suites in Southwest Florida. The Chicago Athletic Association Hotel is a unique property with a 125-year history founded in 1893 as an exclusive men’s athletic club on Michigan Avenue. Nicole joined the opening team just at the tail end of the three year restoration. Her passion in this industry is traveling to meet with clients and developing relationships across the country with a wide range of businesses. She has been living in Chicago for seven years and loves her neighborhood, Logan Square, and spending time with her dog, Lola.

Rachelle Bennett currently works as an Associate Director for the Indiana University (IU) Foundation, Regional Development Team. She is based in Chicago and meets with Hoosier alumni and friends across Chicago, Northwest Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin. Rachelle previously served as a consultant with CCS Fundraising where she worked with various organizations conducting feasibility studies and managing capital campaigns. Prior to that she worked as the Program Specialist for IU Office of Overseas Study assisting students in selecting and participating on study, work, and volunteer abroad programs. Rachelle earned her BA in International Studies and Nonprofit Management from IU Bloomington, and her Master of Public Affairs from the School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA) at IU Bloomington. Rachelle enjoys traveling and considers herself a true Midwest girl. She also enjoys skating with the Chicago Outfit Roller Derby team.

Corey Richardson is the Director of Placement & Alumni Relations of the Golden Apple Foundation, which aims to honor, develop, and train teachers in Illinois. His role focuses on developing the career services and alumni engagement for the entire program which has impacted nearly 3,000 teachers throughout the state. Before joining the Foundation, he served as the regional admission counselor for Western Illinois University. He holds a bachelor degree in Psychology a MA in Leadership Studies in Higher Education as well. In his free time, he serves on One Million Degrees’ associate board and is a national member of American Enterprise Institute Leadership Network.


March 08, 2018 at 6pm - 8pm
Indiana University Chicago Advancement Office
125 S Wacker Dr
Suite 3010
Chicago, IL 60606
United States
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