Finance for Millennials by Millennials

Networking Tips and Tricks

Networking Tips and Tricks

Ann Marie Kelly, Executive Director of the Young Professionals Association of Louisville (YPAL), gives us her best networking tips and tricks:

Ever gone to a networking event and not known what to say? Ann Marie gives teaches us awesome networking tips and tricks so you can make great connections.

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Networking Tips and Tricks:

  • Ann Marie discusses her path from Bellarmine University to the Archdiocese of Louisville and then to the Young Professionals Association of Louisville (YPAL). Not surprisingly, she found her job in YPAL because of her network.
    • In fact, she has never just applied for a job, she has always found a job because of her connections.
    • “It’s not about what you know, it’s who you know.”
  • She discusses how to conquer the fear of going to a networking event and how it’s helpful to bring a friend if you don’t want to go.
  • Her favorite tricks on how to get out of an uncomfortable situation by expanding the group.
  • Why you should go to networking events even if you’re not looking for business connections. Ann Marie knows married couples who met at networking events and there is always the long-term potential benefit when you meet new people.
    • In YPAL specifically, most of the greatest benefits will occur in 5-10 years after you first make the connection.
    • Most YPAL attendees are between the ages of 25-35.
    • The importance of attending networking events if you have just moved to a new city.
  • The biggest mistake Ann Marie has seen at a networking event and the importance of making a real connection. Don’t just hand out your business cards and walk away!
    • Remember, networking events are to meet new people and make connections, not to sell yourself.
    • Also, make sure you always follow up if somebody gives you their business card. It’s amazing how few people actually follow up (check out How to Network Like a Boss).
  • Ann Marie’s craziest networking story involves Jordan Clemons (sorry Mayan Cafe).
  • Don’t know how to break the ice?
    • Skip “What do you do?” and ask “Why are you here?” or “What are your hobbies?”
    • Remember, don’t just go in to sell, focus on making a real connection.
    • Paul’s go to is “What’s your dream job?”
  • Attend the event with the goal of trying to benefit two or more people.
    • Have a mutual connection that might help another person? Make the introduction.
  • Thinking of starting a business? The most important asset you can have is a strong network.
  • Ann Marie’s top 3 networking tips and tricks:
    1. Be brave and go by yourself to force yourself to meet new people.
      • If you must go with somebody else, make sure you split up and don’t talk to each other the entire time.
    2. Be in it to help someone else.
      • Don’t just go to sell yourself.
    3. Always follow up.

Last call questions and answers:

  • Best career advice:
    • Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
    • “The worst thing they can do is say no.”
  • What advice would your 60-year-old self give you today?
    • Take chances.
  • Best thing spent money on the past 6 months:
    • Flight to Thailand
    • Wedding Dress
  • Financial vice:
    • Eat out too much.
  • What media do you recommend:
  • Favorite drink:
    • Old Fashioned at Rye
    • White Wine

Special shoutouts and show notes:

If you want to learn more about networking check out our previous episode How to Network Like a Boss. You can learn more about YPAL at Find Ann Marie on instagram @annmariek03 or email her at

Have any topics you want to be covered or entrepreneurs you’d like us to interview? Let us know! You can email us at or You can also find us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Linkedin. Please be sure to subscribe to our weekly mailing list at

About Ann Marie Kelly:

Ann Marie Kelly is the Executive Director of the Young Professionals Association of Louisville (YPAL). A 2011 graduate of Bellarmine University, she has a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and a Minor in Peace Studies. Before working for YPAL, she was the Coordinator of Annual Giving at the Archdiocese of Louisville.

Ann Marie currently serves on Hand in Hand Ministries’ board and is a member of Greater Louisville Inc’s Events Committee. Ann Marie is a 2015 graduate of the Ignite Louisville Program and is currently a Leadership Louisville Center Bingham Fellow.

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