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Our December Speaker Manijeh Goldberg emphasizes “The harder I network, the luckier I get.”

Manijeh Goldberg came to the US from Iran at 17 to pursue nuclear engineering but quickly found that it might be hard to get a job in this field, and she changed her major to civil engineering.  At the time, civil engineering was a rather male-dominated occupation, Manijeh thought that switching her major to computer science would be a great idea.  She graduated with a Masters in Computer Science and Math at UMass Lowell.   After working in the medical devices industry for HP Medical and Siemen. She also started 5 start-up companies including one that was acquired for $275 million. She eventually graduated with an MBA from MIT Sloan Fellow’s Program and a MS in Biology at Harvard University.

Manijeh is founder of Privo Technologies, which develops nanoparticle based delivery systems.  Before starting Privo Technologies, she received the prestigious Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation Award and the MIT’s 100K award for Best Product.

At her talk, Manijeh said not be shy about asking for help. On the contrary, most people are very nice and they are likely to help if we ask.  See below for some of the highlights:

  • It is quite all right to have big dreams but sometimes it takes a village. It is important to get out of your comfort zone and you should feel uncomfortable as you grow professionally.
  • If you want to go to a networking event, just go and don’t over think too much or you’ll get scared.
  • Build a network of like-minded people and those who inspire you.
  • If there is a person that you want to meet, do your homework ahead of time.
  • When you go to an event, you have to feel confident, and don’t forget to smile often.
  • Volunteer for groups if you want to learn a new skill so you can be surrounded by the people with those skills.
  • Look at people’s eyes when you talk to them. Don’t constantly be looking around the room for the next person.
  • It’s okay to show what you don’t know and be modest.
  • When you first meet someone, try not to talk too much about yourself, instead ask him or her questions and listen.
  • If you want help, you should offer your help first.
  • If people don’t respond, don’t take it personally. Follow up, maybe they are too busy and forgot to reply to your email.
  • How to stay in touch? Send a holiday card or email every once in a while.
  • Try something like this: I was wondering if you have 10-15 minutes of your time to talk about your company. Is ok for me to have coffee with you?
  • Build a notebook of your network and keep a log
  • Look for different mentoring groups.

Finally, remember “The harder I network, the luckier I get.”