CFO of the Maloof Companies Speaks On Networking

2013-10-03 19.08.19Networking, networking, networking. It’s the BIG N word we, as students, cannot escape here at Villanova, nor should we want to. Tonight, Tom Land, CFO of the Maloof Companies and Villanova alumni emphasized the necessity of us college students to network our little hearts out. With this advice, he explained that it is not that difficult here at Nova to network, since this University has a tradition and culture of helping each other out. Present and past students of Villanova are so interconnected and have shared such a great sense of community that we are all readily available and willing to help each other out.

Land explored this idea through the sharing of the history of his career. He emphasized the fact that throughout his 30 year career, he only had to interview once out of the 5 jobs he acquired. This was due to the fact that he knew a guy from Villanova, or he knew a guy who knew a guy, which therefore led him to landing, or rather being given, the job.

This has me thinking…Maybe I should have gotten the card from the businesswoman whom I shared a conversation with on a red eye to Philly. Land did mention that a connection could come from way out of left field and grant you the job or internship you had been looking for. It’s about taking every opportunity you have and letting none go to waste.

This opportunity of success can also come in a different form. It is the opportunity you give yourself by investing your time and energy in an idea that you would like to implement and share with the world. This, of course, is the BIG E word, entrepreneur. Tom has seen the brilliant, or not so brilliant, ideas of entrepreneurs come to life, but warned us highly motivated and ambitious college students that not every idea turns out to be worth a million dollars. It’s quite the contrary in that many ideas do not work out and the investments go down the drain. It is up to us whether we truly believe our ideas can become successful, and if we believe they can be, we must have a valid plan of attack and, according to Land, bring in the “gray hair” or the experience of others while presenting our ideas.

Our ambition does not have to only be limited within the confines of the “new idea” box, but rather, we should also have our sights set on established businesses that are in need of a paradigm shift. We can use our creativity and innovation to “make better,” to dissect a problem within a company and find a plausible solution that will hail us the saviors of the company! Or more humbly, a valuable asset to the company.

So…GO out and run into the great jungle of networking! Become the entrepreneur you think you are destined to be! OR make a change so phenomenal and noteworthy that your name shall be erected and a statue built in your honor!