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Your ability to offer a short but effective introduction, a.k.a. an "elevator speech" is key to kicking off a successful networking interaction. The term "elevator speech" comes from the time it takes to complete a typical elevator ride from the bottom floor to the top floor.

An "elevator speech" is a short speech that is worth memorizing. In the timespan of 30 seconds you can let those you come in contact with know who you are and what your skills, interests, and future goals are as they relate to internships, jobs or future education.

Sample Elevator Speech:

"Hi, my name is John Smith. I am currently a sophomore at Davidson College, which is a selective liberal arts college outside of Charlotte, North Carolina. My major is in history with a minor in economics. I am active in student government and write for the college's student newspaper, The Davidsonian.   

Last summer I completed an internship with a nonprofit in Boston where I expanded their social media presence and updated their marketing publications. This summer I am hoping to intern with a PR firm in New York City, Philadelphia, or Boston. I have always had an interest in communications and have found many opportunities to strengthen my writing, public speaking, and problem solving skills during my time at Davidson."