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Experiences of Networking in a Hybrid Environment

Experiences of Networking in a Hybrid Environment



Please listen to the following podcast, where our guests discuss their practice, learning and ideas regarding their experiences of networking in a hybrid environment.  You will find several resources to help you further explore this theme in the reading list below.

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Heather White is a leading international expert on all things Networking, Personal Brand and LinkedIn, and just loves connecting people! Heather believes the hard truth about networking is that if your contacts don’t ‘get’ you they can’t help you.  Networking is about building a strong network of contacts who understand you and are willing to recommend you when the moment arises.  It is also about caring for, and being of service to those in your network.

Billy Mitchell joined the University of Liverpool in 2016 and leads on support for global challenges research and international partnerships.

Helen Carlin is International Partnerships Manager at the University of Liverpool, leading on partnerships in India and the Americas.

Claire Taylor is Gilmour Chair of Spanish and Professor of Hispanic Studies at the University of Liverpool.

Once you have had a chance to listen to the podcast and look at the resources, we encourage you use the following questions to prompt reflection:

  1. Heather talks about how to break into groups to network in-person. How easy do you find this technique?  Are there principles that Heather gives that you could apply to online networking?
  2. Heather described various roles for online and in-person networking. Which role do you feel most comfortable with and why?  How can you use this to your advantage?
  3. Helen talked about using connections that you already have to extend your network online – how can you do this effectively?
  4. Billy talked about reaching out to people in a different, deliberate way. He encouraged the listener to think about their hook (pitch) that they can prepare and communicate in advance?  How could you use the disadvantage of no longer ‘bumping into people’ at events to your advantage in the way Billy describes?




  • White, H. Smarter Networking.  Accessed February 2022: In particular:

This is Heather White’s website, which includes lots of helpful resources to support networking.  Her ‘create your 60 second pitch’ resource may be of interest for your online, as well as in-person, networking.

Practical tips for how to create opportunities to network online.

  • Stacey E. (2002) Social Presence Online: Networking Learners at a Distance. In: Watson D., Andersen J. (eds) Networking the Learner. Boston, MA: Springer.

This paper draws on two studies which researched the use of online small group environments where collaborative learning is a central structure for learning. The establishment of social presence is facilitated through the socio-affective aspect of small group interaction which contributed to the effectiveness of learning online. Social presence, the ability of online learners to project themselves into a textual environment which has few visual or contextual cues, will be explored as an important element in facilitating effective online learning. The teacher’s role in helping students project their online social presence and in establishing an environment for learning within the larger group will also be discussed.

The Academy’s Developing Practice Podcast is produced by The Academy, University of Liverpool.  The role of the Academy is to promote and enable organisational excellence through the strategic development of the University’s people and practices.  The podcast hosts Matt Davis, Organisational Developer and Alex Owen, Academic Developer are based in the Academy.  To find out more about the work of The Academy click here.

About the authors: Dr Alex Owen is a Senior Academic Developer based in The Academy at the University of Liverpool.  She leads peer learning and teaching development across the broad range of Academy activities designed in response to the strategic educational objectives of the University.  Matt Davis is an Organisational Developer based in The Academy at the University of Liverpool.  He leads on the curation and creation of online staff development activities and enables teams to achieve the strategic aims of the university.