Silverman: A lesson in the power of networking

Article originally published in the Philadelphia Business Journal on March 2, 2015

The power of networking came into sharp focus for me a few weeks ago when I was able to introduce a student of the Pennoni Honors College of Drexel University to a C-suite executive at eBay. I was able to assist this student only through a chain of events that started a year ago. One break in this chain and the introduction would not have occurred.

After speaking with a group of Pennoni Honors College students at a “lunch and learn” event on how to develop into effective leaders as their careers progress, one of the students introduced herself and shared her goal to work in Silicon Valley in the area of communications and marketing after graduation. She asked me if I knew anyone who might be able to help her achieve her goal. I immediately thought of an executive (and Drexel alum) at eBay who I met last March on my trip to Silicon Valley with Donna De Carolis, founding dean of the Close School of Entrepreneurship, her staff and 16 of her students. Had I not gone on that trip, the introduction would not have occurred.

On that trip to Silicon Valley, I witnessed the drive and energy of De Carolis, her staff and Drexel’s Close School students, and met numerous entrepreneurs starting new businesses and pushing the boundaries of what was thought to be possible. Had I not gone on that trip, I would not have been inspired to start writing a column on effective leadership in the Philadelphia Business Journal, which was at the time a new endeavor for this board member and former CEO.

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