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|Networking in College
September 12, 2013
Networking in college is a fundamental component of having a successful career.
Not only does it provide much needed practice for future networking, but you can also make legitimate and indispensable contacts through college opportunities. The key to building strong professional relationships is to know how to network and how to find opportunities to do so.
Pre-professional organizations hold events specifically for networking purposes.
If your campus has such an organization in your field of interest, make sure to take full advantage of their offered resources. Becoming a member of such an organization is a great way to get involved on campus and prepare yourself for your future career. In addition to networking events, these types of clubs frequently hold other events beneficial to your career, such as mock-interviews and various workshops. They may also have information on jobs and internships which are not publicly available to non-members. If there is no pre-professional organization in your field of interest, your major department will be able to point you in the right direction.
When networking with professionals, first impressions count.
It is extremely important to make a good first impression. First and foremost, make sure you’re dressed appropriately. If it’s a speaking event held at your school, casual dress should suffice. If you’re attending a dinner or full-out networking event, business casual or formal dress is required. No matter what the event, never wear things that cast you in a bad light – like sweatpants, which could portray you as lazy or sloppy. When it comes to dressing, it’s always better to be overdressed than underdressed.
Nothing can mark you as unqualified more quickly than not knowing the subject matter.
Research is crucial! If you know who you will have the opportunity to speak with, it is highly recommended that you research the person, their position, and their company. Not only will this background knowledge allow you to have a more genuine conversation, but it will also set you apart from your peers. In case you find yourself sprung into a sudden networking opportunity with no advance preparation time, it’s helpful to know about recent big news events within your field. That way you can still hold a meaningful conversation and get to know the person in the process.
It’s extremely beneficial to begin networking with your classmates and peers – now.
In just a few years, you will all be entering the workforce. Start a LinkedIn profile and connect with the peers that you have befriended or worked with in the past. You should also make it a point to connect with the professionals that you meet at events. You’ll soon find that you have created an amazing resource for you to stay up on current news, browse job and internship openings, while staying in contact with peers and colleagues.
In order to ease the transition between college life and your future career, it is important to network well.
Fortunately, in college you’re surrounded by like-minded and career-oriented people. Make the best of these connections and those offered to you.
Created by: Johnnie Robertson/HOFSTRA; Major – Marketing and Entrepreneurship;
Career Goal – Marketing Executive for a startup company
// Categories: Career Advice,College Life,Making A Difference
// Tags: career advice, college networking