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Building Your Network While Building Your Value: February 18, 2021—A “Not-to-Miss” Event!

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90 minutes to Navigate, Collaborate, and Network

Where else can you go to meet and mingle with STEM-industry leaders, engage in discussions that have real meaning, and come away with new insights about real-time industry challenges?  Where else can you hear experts share how they navigate these challenges? And where else can you walk away with strategies, action items, and insights that you can immediately employ and apply to your own work?

* Mark Your Calendars for February 18, 2021, from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.!*

The night will be packed with it all!  We will have the opportunity to mix, mingle, and network with a room full of experts from industries spanning the spectrum of MBS academic concentrations. And, thanks to technology, we will have the opportunity to interact just as if we were together!  Come late, and you might miss an opportunity to meet the people who are around you.  Come early, and engage in some great pre-talk. This event will bring together a dedicated group of STEM-based leaders who are focused on furthering the success of our program. They are members of MBS’s Industrial Advisory Board (or “IAB” for short).

Who Belongs to the IAB? 

The IAB is an energetic group of 24 STEM-industry leaders—many of whom have been involved with the MBS program since its inception in 2010. Our board includes 12 MBS graduates, two of whom also earned their undergraduate degrees from Rutgers! In 2021, we look to add several new members who bring to the table their expertise in fields including Cybersecurity, User Experience Design, Food Science, and Personal Care Science.  


*** Because you’re going to learn a LOT! ***

PURPOSEFUL CONVERSATIONS: “You are only as good as the last conversation you had.”  This is a mantra I want you all to embrace! Now ask, “who did I have the last conversation with? Was it with myself?” 

Over the 31 days in January, I interviewed 36 Leaders—longtime clients, business associates, and/or acquaintances from professional associations.  Trends emerged and challenges were identified.

Questions to Leaders:  “What are some of the biggest challenges you are currently facing—both as individual leaders and as leaders within your specific industries?” “What skills do you feel are most essential for leaders to possess—especially in times of crisis?"

Impact of COVID-19:

COVID-19 has presented unprecedented and major challenges for which no one could have been prepared. However, the fundamental challenges of leadership as well as the traits and characteristics of strong leaders have remained largely the same. Interviewees' advice to future leaders :

  • Be the catalyst for change. 
  • Anticipate and prepare for collateral fallout, be it expansion or layoffs or corporate restructuring. 
  • Focus on both the long-term and short-term goals and have plans for how to execute both visions.
  • Be a human being – what are you being?
  • It is no longer “Business As Usual:” Recognizing emotional needs of employees (and yourself) and honing your Emotional IQ during COVID-19 is essential.

Strategic, Actionable Advice to MBS Students:

  • Keep current. 
  • Keep up to speed with technology. 
  • Read, listen, and network. 
  • Look to upskill. 
  • Keep developing and building relationships.
  • Know how to lead a team.
  • Actively listen.


Leaders are responsible for developing new leaders. What traits do these future leaders need to exhibit? 

Flexibility, adaptability, accountability, positivity and optimism, empathy, creativity, perseverance, and patience, courage and vulnerability are just a few of the traits that leaders mentioned. Sounds easy to adopt or project these characteristics, right? Yet it is very demanding today.  


Leaders look for people who can:

  • Think on their feet. 
  • Make quick but rational decisions based on information at hand. 
  • Put people first. 
  • Tolerate being uncomfortable in new and unfamiliar situations.
  • Take the lead in a time of crisis. 
  • Recognize the challenges of “Work from Anywhere,” which presents an additional layer of difficulty.
  • Connect with their team members—both individually and as a group.
  • Demonstrate excellent time-management skills, and compartmentalize effectively.
  •  Strategize solutions for safely delivering products and services on time and within budget.
  • Remember: "change begets change," and all aspects of business are changing.
  • Find your “why"—as in, "Why are you currently in the role that you're in?" Are you inspired by your work? Passionate about what you do? What drives you to want to succeed?

Think about thisis this information relevant to your own experience?  This Thursday, February 18, we are going to talk about the impact of these trends and patterns on you, your role, your function, your career aspirations, your company, and your industry. And there is so much more!  

** Join us on Thursday, February 18, at 7 p.m. for great information, and, better yet, tons of inspiration! **

Kathleen Cashman
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