Has anyone told you that it’s not what you know, but who you know? This is why networking is a very powerful tool in any industry.
You may think of networking only as connecting with professionals. However, networking includes everyone around you – teachers, students, co-workers, supervisors, etc. The more connections you have, the more valuable you become.
This is not to say that everyone you come in contact with is going to propel you to stardom. You should not only seek out people that you feel a connection with, but also those that will be able to help you in a professional sense. Here are some tips to improve your network:
- Make an effort to establish relationships with one of your professors, your academic advisor, or a faculty advisor for one of the clubs that you are involved with. They will be more willing to give you a recommendation for an internship or job if they know you personally.
- If you haven’t taken on a leadership role in a club or organization on campus, now is the time! Being a member of the e-board introduces you to members from other clubs and opens up doors to more networking opportunities.
- Attend alumni events and make an effort to speak with the professionals at the event. Make sure to get their business card and send a follow-up email thanking them for their time. Most importantly, keep in touch.
- Take part in the Alumni Sharing Knowledge (ASK) program. You will be paired with an alumni in your interested field and expected to keep a relationship via email throughout a semester.
- Create and maintain your LinkedIn profile. In doing so, make sure that any information is 100% accurate. The purpose of LinkedIn is to connect with people that you know, but if you want to connect with someone you don’t know personally, make sure to send them a message other than the generic example given that explains your reasoning for wanting to connect.
- Follow influentials in your industry on Twitter. If you want to connect with certain individuals, pay attention to what they’re posting and respond to them. Following someone isn’t enough; if you don’t express your interest, he/she won’t ever know who you are.
Looking for connections? Quest is coming up on Wednesday, April 15. Don’t miss out on a chance to network with students and alumni!