Answered by Stephanie, Hiring Expert at AT&T Inc., on Friday, November 3, 2017
Wow! Now that is a fully loaded question. So I'm going to go with a yes, with a caveat. Obviously people have to know who you are to want to hire you, work with you, invite you onto a project, and introduce you to people they know. All necessary things to get a job and make the right contacts. Here's the caveat, if you go to events and it is always the same people or all people on the same level of experience you are, take a step back and decide if that's the right spot for you. Make friends, that's awesome, but also stretch yourself and make sure you are meeting new people.
Your alma mater, your previous places of work, organizations that are specific to your specialty are all going to be great places to meet potential contacts.
How do you make the most of it? Make sure your elevator pitch is on point, get the contact info, follow up. Boom!