In networking with others, always be prepared to present a short sound bite of information about who you are and what you are seeking. Even though Aunt Mabel has known you from birth, she probably doesn't have a clue as to what type of work you are seeking after graduation.
Remember your career mission statement and resume objective? These two statements will form the basis of your ten-second sound bite. It will be a compound "I have…" and "I'm looking for…" statement. Following are some examples:
"I have experience and a degree in accounting and I'm looking for a position in the public accounting field in the Chicago area."
"I have experience in Java programming and a degree in Computer Science. I'm looking for a position with an IT consulting firm."
"I have experience in newspaper reporting and a degree in Journalism. I'm looking for a position in the newspaper, magazine, or book publishing field in Boston."
Keep it short and sweet. If more detail is required, your contact will ask. The intent of the ten-second sound bite is to give them a tangible statement they will be able to remember. Just as a politician is always seeking a memorable sound bite, you should also seek a sound bite that is specific and memorable.