What’s the value proposition of a student?

One of the reasons why I've never quite felt comfortable in networking-focused events is that the value proposition of a student is hard to define. Deal-oriented people will probably overlook me because I can't offer them immediate value. What can I offer people? What's my value proposition?

I don't have much business experience yet, and as geeky as I can be sometimes, I'm not as into technology as are people I know. Why should people want to spend time with me?

I'm a student, a wannabe, an apprentice of life. Right now, I can't really offer anything. No, that's not entirely true. I bring my comfort with technology, my experience of being alien (in a good way), my passion and enthusiasm and peace. Perhaps I also offer people an opportunity to pay back their own mentors for all the opportunities they've received, too.

It's silly of me to doubt life, considering how I've been so, so, so lucky in the past. At conferences and conventions, I've always managed to sit beside or otherwise discover people who totally inspire me. I don't deserve any of the breaks, but I should learn how to make the most of them so that I can share the benefits with other people.

I'm hungry for more knowledge, more learning, more connections. I'm excited and interested and alive. Maybe that's my value proposition for now - not that I'm some subject matter expert or anything, but that I'm curious. I should learn how to ask good questions and how to get to the heart of things. I also want to learn how to tell stories and write articles and books...

Other things: Hmm... I need to know who's who. Note to self: add business magazines to my weekly diet. That's what access to the university library and the dorm reading room gets me. And I _should_ take advantage of the library. We have access to all these journals and educational resources that businesses don't have. I should take advantage of that! Maybe that's part of the value I offer, too.

I can take risks. I can spend time learning about something that eventually pans out. I can try different things and get to know different people. Maybe that's part of it, too.


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Random Japanese sentence: 私たちは庭でかわいそうな小さな猫を見つけた。 We found a poor little cat in the yard.