STUDENTS had the opportunity to mingle with business people at an event held to introduce them to the world of face-to-face networking.
The event, held last week at the University of Portsmouth’s Portland Building, was organised by Jaimes Harrington, business support officer at the Faculty of Business and Law.
Jaimes, who also looks after the university’s Entrepreneurs in Residence Programme, said: ‘Events like these offer our students an opportunity to build on the soft skills employers are looking for.
‘In providing a ‘safe’ environment our students could comfortably network with our business partners, allowing them to practice their networking skills with real business people.’
Business people from across Portsmouth and the surrounding areas were invited.
Fiona McBride, director of sales at the Village Hotel Portsmouth, was among the guests.
She said: ‘It was a fantastic opportunity for the students. I wish that I could have had this kind of experience in a comfortable environment rather than just being thrown in. I really enjoyed engaging with the students and understanding their perspective of the business world today.'
As well as the students having an opportunity to practice networking skills, an essential skill to have for any career, they also heard from guest speakers Kevin Briscoe, from Briscoe PR, a PR firm in Sarisbury Green.
He said: ‘As a new Entrepreneur in Residence at the University I was delighted to be asked to give the keynote address on winning new contacts. I hope that my background as a journalist and attending countless business networking events helped inform the students and other business leaders in the room about some of my experiences, and some of the mistakes I have made along the way.
‘It is a privilege to speak to the young entrepreneurs of the future as they start out on their journey towards business success – they are hungry for information and real-life examples from people in business now who have learned lessons along the way and are happy to share their experiences.
‘There were some great questions and good feedback. If I’ve helped some of them avoid a few of the pitfalls I have experienced in my professional life then it will have been worth it.’