Blog: 8.9.2021 The Power of Weak Ties

Friday, August 6, 2021

Hello Majors!

Networking, building relationships! This blog is about this daunting, exciting, intimidating, and rewarding process of building connections.

I recently connected with 1990 econ alum Brian Ramsay, President of private equity firm, Littlejohn & Co. I met Brian through Professor Elzinga. Brian had written to Professor Elzinga because he had been interviewed on a podcast (link below) where he discussed the power of weak ties, something those of you who took Econ 2010 with Professor Elzinga may remember from lectures. Through this email, Professor Elzinga connected Brian and me at the ECO and now I'm sharing Brian's remarks about networking with you. And, it is my hope that in the coming year, Brian will spend time with our majors in the department in-person or virtually. This story demonstrates perfectly the power of networking and building relationships. (During the podcast, you'll also learn about private equity from Brian and the importance of financial analysis skills and . To reach Brian's networking remarks, skip to the 10:00 minute mark.) So much of the work that the ECO undertakes is to set the table for you to join the conversation with our economics alumni and employers.  And while we all have independent networks, which are forged from the building blocks of our own families, friends, and experiences outside of UVA, our goal in the ECO is to share the cultural wealth of our UVA community. We will talk much more about this together in ECO programs and individual advising, but for now, take a listen to Brian Ramsay's interview with "Top of the Pile."

Then, take action and reach out to one professional to practice your informational interviewing. This could be a relative, family friend, friend's family member, your family get the picture. Use these links to draft your email/phone call script to secure the meeting and then this link to prepare for the call. Send me a message to let me know how it goes!  We will include your comments in an upcoming newsletter.

And, please believe me that asking for help now from alumni and other professionals is completely appropriate and expected. The day will come when you will pay it forward by helping upcoming majors who will be in the shoes you once filled.

Link to ECO website and professional development

Link to How to Write a Networking Email That Gets Results