IMBA networking database casts an innovative net for building business connections.

Networking. Everyone does it. It’s how we make the connections that strengthen professional relationships and drive careers forward.

Now students in the International MBA (IMBA) program at Florida International University (FIU) are redefining the scope of networking to learn more about one another and to grow connections internationally.

Students take a new view of networking.

As IMBA student Jeff Ghitman sees it, the greatest value of any MBA program is the shared experiences among fellow students.

“It’s all about the relationships you build—relationships that last beyond the confines of the classroom,” he said.

IMBA students, from left to right: Miriam Lam, Clifford Holley, Jeff Ghitman and Fabiola Marquez

This is the core concept fueling a different kind of networking database.

“The students have created a networking database designed to put each other in contact with people they know in different industries for relationship building and job searching,” said Paola Moreno (MBA ’03), associate director, international graduate programs in FIU’s College of Business Administration. “It’s one way our students are creatively facing the current job crisis, coming together as a team to help one another succeed.”

Among the IMBA students participating in the networking database project are, from left to right: Christoph Wilke, Isabel Pascua and Ileana Rodriguez

What do you bring to the table? What do you need from the table?

As Ghitman explains, more than half the students in the IMBA program are international students, creating a kind of international supply chain. The new database digs beyond basic profile data to establish a dynamic forum for building strong international industry connections.

“We are sharing core areas of industry competence, long-standing business and family contacts, plus descriptions of opportunities,” he said. “People are sharing information at a deeper, more meaningful level. It’s a fresh take on relationship management.”

To date, 70 of the 91 students in the current IMBA program have contributed to the Microsoft Excel-based networking database.

“We hope to expand this effort beyond our current program,” Ghitman said. “Our scope of international experience and connections rivals that of any Ivy League university. This is one way to shed new light on what we bring to the international business marketplace.”

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