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Getting started

Hello and welcome to Business Fundamentals: Effective Networking.

This course is one of eight available in the Business and Finance Fundamentals program. Successful completion of all eight (as evidenced by upgrading or purchasing a Certificate of Achievement for each course) can lead to academic credit at Level 1 of The Open University’s Business Management BA degree, subject to registration and separate fee for a linked Open University assessment module.

Networking is a fundamental skill to help you take control of your career. This course provides a practical introduction to the skills of networking in order to develop your personal brand in the world of work. There are lots of practical activities which we hope you will enjoy and find useful in your professional and personal development.

Each week starts with an overview of what you will be covering and shares the key learning aims of the week so you can see what lies ahead. A week should take around three hours to study, but this is broken down into manageable chunks so it fits around your existing commitments. There’s a quiz at the end of each week so you can check your knowledge and identify any areas you might like to revisit.

Over the duration of the course you will craft your ‘elevator pitch’, a pithy statement of your role and talents, and have the opportunity to receive feedback on it.

You will learn how to analyse the value of your connections, whether you are looking for a new job, or seeking ways of being more effective in your current position. The course will also cover strategies for self-presentation, keeping in touch with your connections and ensuring that your networking relationships are based on mutual benefit and trust. As well as honing your interpersonal skills in essential areas such as giving and seeking information, the course will cover the fundamentals of creating and managing your digital presence for networking purposes on social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Google+.

Who will support your learning?

The lead educator on this course is Terry O’Sullivan. Terry’s career has spanned marketing in both commercial and non-profit sectors, as well as spells as tutor, student and now Senior Lecturer in Management in the Open University Business School. He has co-authored a number of popular text books, including Creative Arts Marketing the leading title in UK arts marketing education (third edition due 2018).

To support you along the way are mentors [Elke StJohn] (https://www.futurelearn.com/profiles/12543) and [Joanne Battelley] (https://www.futurelearn.com/profiles/327563)

You can access the FutureLearn profiles of the educator and the mentors supporting your learning from the links. You may also choose to ‘Follow’ them.

A key feature of the learning experience on FutureLearn is social learning. We learn best when we share and debate ideas with fellow learners, therefore we encourage you to participate in the comments and discussions, and to ask questions and engage with other learners. If this is the first FutureLearn course you have studied, you might find it useful visit the FAQs page.

Introduce yourself

Before you move on, click the ‘Comments’ icon and spend a few minutes introducing yourself, including a brief outline of your motivations for joining this course. Find out about your fellow learners by reading and replying to other comments before marking the step as complete and moving onto the next one.


Get extra benefits, upgrade your course

You can now get extra benefits by upgrading this course, including:

Unlimited access to the course: Go at your own pace with unlimited access to the course for as long as it exists on FutureLearn.

Access to tests: Ensure you’ve mastered the material with access to tests on the course.

A Certificate of Achievement: To help you demonstrate your learning we’ll send you a Certificate of Achievement when you become eligible.

Find out more

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This article is from the free online course:

Business Fundamentals: Effective Networking

The Open University