The Honors College hosted a leadership event teaching students the importance of networking at 6 p.m. Thursday in the Agricultural Sciences building.
Linda Byars Swindling, a Texas Tech graduate, CEO of the development company Journey On, and author of “Passports to Success” and “Stop Complainers and Energy Drainers,” spoke to students about the power of making connections and her story using it.
“It’s not enough to go to college and be great in your subject,” she said. “If you want to get a job later you need to know how to connect effectively, build a network and be able to form professional relationship that will last the rest of your career.”
Swindling said Tech wasn’t her first-choice college, but making personal connections on her campus visit was a main reason she chose Tech over other schools.
At the event students were required to spend two minutes practicing shaking hands and making conversation that could help with networking.
Sara Carden, a sophomore public relations major from San Antonio, said she will take away a few lessons from the event.
“I’ll be more professional and open to engaging with my professors or just different people I meet,” she said.
The Terry Scholars also hosted the event as part of their leadership series, said Rachel Murdy, a sophomore English major from Round Rock and the president of Terry Scholars, where most of the speakers brought in have ties to leadership.
“The main purpose of this is throughout the rest of your life — starting today — all your relationships are going to help you with your success and to reach your goals,” Swindling said.
Part of the reason Swindling came back to talk to Tech students was because they are some of the best out there, she said. Meeting her at the event was her son Parker, who is a freshman at Tech and in the Honors College.
The event was centered on networking as not just social media but making personal connections.
“I’m going to start making goals when I’m going out and meeting people,” said Conner Atnip, a freshman mechanical engineering major from McKinney.
Making connections, Swindling said, will help no matter what stage of life one is in, and she hopes students will at least take away how to negotiate through networking.
Attendees were greeted with free drinks and a variety of brownies.
Swindling said her biggest advice for freshmen was to get out and meet their professors.
“I hope they implement the information they’ve heard,” Murdy said.
Swindling graduated from Tech with a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism and a law degree.
“Success is not a destination, it’s a journey,” she said.