It’s a common phrase that you become like those with whom you hang out the greatest. That is, if you continue to hang out with smart people who make important decisions, it will ultimately affect how things will turn out for you. While networking remained the action or process of interacting with others to exchange information and develop professional or social contacts, an Introduction to student networking will help you form relationships with those who’ll help get you to where you want to go.
The sooner you start networking, the better your chances are of greater professional connections with someone who may help you land that dream job in post-graduate years. Here are four undergraduate networking tips to help you begin:
Use your everyday routine to build networking
Students’ engagement with professors and course mates is an everyday routine at the university and can be some of your most valuable assets when it comes to job hunting in the future. Build this into networking. Professors, for example, may offer valuable industry insight and advice to students who may land a good job tomorrow. Such students in turn may share professors with links to job openings for promising students who could take up the role.
Be involved in campus activities
People usually ignore the importance of getting involved with on-campus activities, particularly how it relates to networking. Getting involved in campus activities such as student clubs, signing up for a campus blog/newsletter, or volunteering in community services is a sure way to make new friends and perhaps beef up your network.
Your campus has a career center, take advantage of it
University career centers can become an interesting place to network. Typically, you will find open internship opportunities, learn about upcoming volunteer jobs, get free career advice, get a tip on how to build an online presence/network, etc. Student representatives usually have a relationship with the career center officer, you can get to know them, have conversations, share your career visions and receive free consulting about what is trending in the industry.
Develop an online presence and maintain your network
The idea of social media for most undergraduates carries a feeling of distraction from studies. However, you can leverage social media via platforms like LinkedIn, or tweeter, depending on your chosen industry. Your university might even have an alumni group on Facebook. Alumni are fond of posting job openings within their company and if you are sure you qualify for the job, you can reach out to the one who posted the job opening.
Finally, just like other jobs, networking is hard work and will need to be maintained through positive relationships. When you meet people with similar interests, it’s important to maintain that connection afterword. A simple email will indicate that you value the time spent talking with them.