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Networking to Success with Laurence Jones

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Laurence Jones, University of Cincinnati alumnus and successful businessman, recently spoke at the UC Blue Ash Path Speaker Series. He studied finance and accounting at the Lindner College of Business, where he made helpful connections for his future career, and graduated in 2000. Eric Broyles, our UC Blue Ash Distinguished Alumnus and generous donor, personally invited Jones to speak to students. 

“I said yes before he even finished his sentence, because that’s what you do for friends,” said Jones. The two are business partners and hold the college in high esteem. During his talk, Jones spoke to the students specifically about the importance of networking.

Jones poses for a headshot

Networking, as he defines it, means to know people within your areas of interest and expertise who can point you in the right direction in order to be successful. Networking begins as early as high school, and he told his audience that some of his old classmates are now his best customers. He graduated from Winton Woods in 1995, and still values the connections he made there.

He praises the advent of social media, and how easy it is for people who may not see each other face-to-face daily to stay in touch. He encourages students to utilize social media as a valuable tool for networking. “Which is more important,” he asked the students. “Who you know, or who knows you?”

Students gave many insights into what the correct answer could be, however he finally shared that the two are equally important. People cannot know about you if you don’t network and get to know others. In fact, the name of his talk was called “Networking or Not Working,” a very fitting title for how much importance he put on this skill. 

Specifically, within the realm of entrepreneurship and business, Jones encouraged his audience that networking is how lifelong connections are made that will help you build a successful career. In college, this can be as simple as reaching out to a professor, talking to the student next to you in class, or on the bus. Anyone, anywhere is an opportunity to share your story and make connections.

About Hannah Roberts

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