College isn’t just about academics: it’s also a terrific opportunity to start working on your professional growth. Networking during your formative years of higher education can assist you in obtaining employment after graduation. In fact, 78 percent of recent college graduates said networking was a key component in their job searches, according to one study. Here’s a closer look at how you may start building your professional network while still in school.
When it comes to landing a job, we’ve all heard the cliché, “It’s not what you know, but who you know.” Networking is crucial because it allows you to create connections with people who can assist you go where you want to go. It’s best to start creating a professional network while still in college. Creating a LinkedIn account, which allows you to discover and stay in touch with people, is a terrific way to get started. Employers, recruiters, industry gurus, and other career-driven individuals are among them.
LinkedIn also makes it easy to connect with alumni, who are often willing to connect you with other professionals they know and offer career guidance. This is also true for professors. If you have a specific interest in a subject, don’t be hesitant to contact professors in that discipline. One of them may turn out to be your mentor, changing the course of your life.
To get your foot in the door in your chosen field, consider doing an internship. Even if it doesn’t result in a job, you may meet people who can introduce you to other prospects. Your coworkers might also serve as references for future employment opportunities. Getting involved on campus is another method to make contacts. Joining sports, clubs, honor societies, frats, sororities, and other organizations, for example, allows you to meet a wide range of individuals and form relationships with peers, mentors, counselors, coaches, and others. Volunteering and taking on a part-time job are also excellent ways to make professional contacts.
Make an effort to attend networking and professional events, whether in person or virtually. This allows you to connect with like-minded people with whom you may discuss topics relating to your field of study. Make sure you wear the part, talk to people, and ask questions. If you strike up a conversation with a particular professional, send him or her a follow-up email.
See the resource for more information on how to expand your professional network while in college.