The Catholic University of America

Career advisor Mary Crane has been featured on 60 Minutes, Fox Business News, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes.com, and Fortune.com.

Completing the Education

You scan the room at a networking reception, finally spotting the VIP you were hoping all along to meet. Sure enough, you're introduced moments later and as you extend your hand to shake, you realize that it's slick with grease from the scrumptious chicken fingers at the buffet table.

That's why one never goes to a reception hungry, advises Mary Crane. The business etiquette advisor said that such common scenarios are easy to avoid with a little advance thinking.

Crane spoke to students at the Columbus School of Law on Jan. 13 on "The Rules of Engagement: Recession-Proofing Your Career." She reminded the future attorneys that mastering legal skills absolutely includes such talents as effectively working a crowded room, managing a business lunch and learning how to build a personal network.

During an energetic and creative presentation sponsored by the Office of Career and Professional Development and the law school's Board of Visitors, Crane walked the audience through common social conundrums, such as deciding who should be introduced to who when two people meet for the first time.

A graduate of George Washington Law School, Crane later worked at the White House as an assistant chef. Today, she runs Mary Crane & Associates, traveling throughout North America to deliver high impact, high energy programs to Fortune 500 companies and more than 50% of the AmLaw100. Crane helps new employees quickly assimilate in today's fast-paced work environment. She also helps managers understand how to best recruit, motivate, and retain today's newest workers.

Among her take-away tips for career networkers:

  • No limp handshakes
  • Always attend networking events with a specific goal in mind
  • Punctuality matters. A little late is okay, more than 20 minutes is not
  • Wear nametags on the right side of your chest, where they are easiest to read
  • To help remember someone's name, try to use it in a natural way 3 times during a conversation

Most of all, said, Crane, "in every situation, your client is always, always, always the most important person in the room.