Consistency, Passion, Structure: Keys to Building a Network

By Michele Rapp

In October 2020, a cohort of alumni took part in a unique 9-day experience called the “Reach Out Party.” Each day, the group met for half an hour at noon, to practice networking and discover the impact of sending a “reach out” message. Led by Molly Beck, DMSB’09 and Carly Valancy, participants gained practical advice and a helpful framework for networking, a skill that often feels daunting.

Alumni Takeaways:

Allen Meringolo, DMSB’16

The hosts emphasized that consistency and commitment are the keys to building a successful network and reach out practice. I learned that it’s important to have a well thought-out, detailed training plan to guide me. Molly and Carly talked about the importance of aligning your reach-out practice to genuine passions, giving personal examples and guiding us through a series of exercises to help identify our own. For me, I realized that I should focus on philosophy, local politics, and urban planning to connect with like-minded people and grow my network.


  • Ask yourself: What are you obsessed with? What goals are you working on?
  • Approach people from a perspective of curiosity and collaboration
  • Give a compliment to someone you admire; “be a gift in someone’s inbox”
  • Put a reminder on your calendar to follow-up if you don’t hear back in two weeks
  • Follow-up on a different platform like LinkedIn, and add new information.
  • Stand out with a fun fact, portfolio link, or the latest book you are reading.

I found their advice and frameworks helpful for my sales career. I also got the ball rolling on a real estate side project, checked in with an old mentor I had lost touch with, reached out to a few potential new mentors via NUsource, and reconnected with an old classmate from Northeastern. In this time of economic uncertainty and upheaval, I look forward to continuing to use these skills to grow my network.

November 5, 2020

Rachel Rappé, DMSB’15, Member of the Young Alumni Advisory Board

This 9-day workshop enabled me to reconnect with professional and networking principles I learned at Northeastern. Specifically, I gained the confidence to add value to any conversation, even if the other person is more experienced or someone I hold in high regard. One tip to engage your network is offering “gifts” of knowledge and insight (such as sharing relevant articles). This is a powerful new methodology that I have been working on since this program.

Watch the Northeastern alumni “reach out” webinar: