Networking is important. Period. End of story.
It's not just a way to get to know people who navigate your chosen field. It's a chance to show them who you are and who you can be, to communicate the goals you have set for yourself (and your career). It's an opportunity to establish lifelong professional relationships with people who can help you score the internship or job you so desperately want to get…and steer you down the right path towards your dream career.
But how does one start networking? Scroll down to read the three things you (and your fellow college students) must do as you set out to make the connections you need to be successful.
CREATE A LINKEDIN ACCOUNT
Having a LinkedIn account is perhaps the best way to network because it allows you to converse with users (peers, professors, and leaders alike) who, in addition to being involved in your related field of study, are able to give valuable career advice. All you have to do is build your profile page with work and educational experience, highlighted skills and interests, select accomplishments and a professional profile picture. After you've finished, you can click "connect" and start to advance the conversation.
ATTEND NETWORKING EVENTS
Have you seen fliers promoting professional on-campus events or career fairs as you walk around campus? If so, this is an excellent way to network. It's the one chance to speak with past and present alums, people who have gone through the same experiences you're going through and who know your field of study. When the big night comes, make sure to do the following: Compose a list of (five to six) questions to ask, arrive early for ample mingling time, bring business cards instead of a resume, follow up afterward. Following these steps will result in you leaving a lasting impression and gaining a future ally. But whatever you do, don't act desperate and don't just ask for a job.
SIT DOWN WITH YOUR PROFESSORS
Who better to network with then the professors in your department? They know your field of study like the back of their hand and can introduce you to all the right people…but only if you introduce yourself the right way. Stop by during their office hours to say hello and let them know how enthusiastic you are about being part of their program. It may not seem like much, but it's a good start.
We hope our networking guide proves beneficial as you start to make connections. We also hope you choose Boro – the online company that provides the best personal and auto loans for students – when covering your future expenses.
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