The Best Advice For Networking In College
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Student Life

The Best Advice For Networking In College

"It's not about what you know, it's about who you know."

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The Best Advice For Networking In College

We've all heard it before... getting the best internships and jobs is about who you know and not what you know.

Having connections and a network of individuals willing to help and support you in navigating your career path is super important, and many times, we, as college students, become discouraged because we don't think we know the "right" people.

So what do most of us do? Stop trying.

As a college student, I'm here to tell you to forget that mindset.

You are the carver of your own destiny.

As students in 2019, most of us are privileged to attend universities that offer countless resources and opportunities to expand our network and grow as individuals. The number of students that take advantage of those opportunities is far too low. While it's not a necessity to have connections in order to be successful, it's often useful and smart to grow your network in your field of interest.

That's why I'm here to give you some ~networking tips~ as a college student who has both attended networking events and managed to keep long-term relationships with the professionals that I met at them.

First things first— be confident in who you are, what you've accomplished, and what you're looking to achieve in the future. The worst thing you can be is doubtful in yourself. Being unsure and nervous is one thing, but being outrightly doubtful can be a sign of mental weakness.

Second, ask plenty of questions. Don't interrupt the person you're speaking with, but don't be shy asking about things that you're curious about. After all, that's why making connections can be so important! Professionals in your career path of choice can serve as a huge resource and offer an eye-opener to what may lie ahead for you. Listen to their stories and ask them about how they got to be where they are now. It's important to show interest.

Next, it's effective to come as prepared as possible. If you're attending an event that offers a list of those attending, don't hesitate to research individuals' backgrounds and current careers that may be of interest to you. Choose a handful of people that you're very interested in speaking with beforehand and do your research! You might just stumble upon something you have in common...

Another thing you should remember when preparing for a networking event is that it's not certain that you'll gain an instant opportunity. Nothing is guaranteed. Many times, college students will claim that attending events like this are a "waste of time" because "nothing ever comes out of them." However, meeting people and being able to strike a conversation is good practice in itself. Having the opportunity to hear stories from those experienced in your desired field is definitely not a waste of time— whether or not a job opportunity comes directly out of it.

Lastly, follow up! This might be one of the most important things to do after attending events, and it's often overlooked. If you find that you had a great conversation with someone of interest, it's important to get their contact information and send a follow-up email afterward to thank them for their time and ask to maintain contact moving forward. A gesture as small as a thank-you email can go a long way in the professional world. This will show that you appreciated what he or she had to offer you and that you're interested in maintaining a relationship with that person.

With all of that being said, I hope you jump on any opportunity to attend networking events this year in hopes of securing an internship, job, or simply opening yourself to creating connections with professionals that can help you along your college and career journey.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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