11 Ways to Kickstart Your Network

Don't Wait Until Graduation, Here Are 11 Ways To Kick Start Your Career While You're Still In College

It's never too soon to build your network, but how do you get started?

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The world seems to spin faster and faster every year and it is never too soon to start building your network of connections. While building your network sounds like an attractive idea to almost everyone, how do you start? It can be extremely intimidating to be an underclassman listening to your older friends plan their futures. Here are 11 ways to jumpstart your professional network.

1. Build a LinkedIn profile. 

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LinkedIn is used widely for job search, networking, internship hunts, and news distribution. Make a profile now and start friending your classmates, your friends from home, your professors, and anyone else you can think of. The sooner you start to build that network the larger it will be. LinkedIn is a free service open to all. Why would you not make use of it?

2. Take the time to talk to your professors. 

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Professors are impressive people. They may be intimidating but 99% of the time they are extremely passionate about helping their students. Most professors have spent extensive time working in the fields they're teaching. Don't overlook the people in front of you every single day. Make use of professors' office hours and talk to them about their experience, their advice, and their suggestions for you going forward.

3. Take advantage of campus resources. 

https://www.society19.com/campus-resources-uf/

College campuses are swarming with opportunities for those wanting to expand their network. Take the time and learn about the places on your campus that offer resources. Whether it be resume workshops or career fairs, most of these resources are open to students of all ages for a reason.

4. Stop and talk to your friend's parents and your parent's friends. 

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Connections are all around you. It can be easy to forget about those people that you've known for most of your life. Reach out to your family connections as soon as you can and establish yourself as a professional. You don't have to have a ton of experience to come across as driven and motivated.

5. Do your research. 

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There are few things more impressive than being knowledgable about other professional's lives. If you know you are going to listen to a keynote speaker or have an information interview, do some LinkedIn stalking. Develop a little background knowledge about their position, what is currently going on in the field, and your own potential passions.

6. Reach out to alumni. 

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Professionals remember what it's like to be a struggling college student and more often than not, they wish someone was there to help guide them to their right path. There is nothing you can lose from reaching out to a professional in the field and asking for advice. People love to give advice and feel worthy of valuable information. Next thing you know, they'll offer you a position.

7. Pay attention to your passions and grow from there. 

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I know this sounds like one of those things that is easier said than done but that doesn't make it any less true. Make sure that your passions are centered in more than just profit. If you're studying something you love, networking will be a million times easier. Make sure you are passionate for the right reasons.

8. Introduce yourself to everyone you can. 

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You meet so many people in a single day. It sounds silly but slow down for 10 minutes and talk to them. Especially on a university campus, you pass people on the street daily that made an impact on the world. As you meet people in seminars, at events, and even in your classrooms, just talk. Ask about other's passions. If they really are passionate, they will be more than happy to talk to you.

9. Attend networking events 

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There are more events on campus and in the professional world than we could ever attend. Spend one afternoon, make note of these events, and attend. As intimidating as it can be, these events were created to start the networking process.

10. Always ask for contact information. 

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Meeting people and introducing yourself is a great place to start but if you don't follow up, no benefit will come from your efforts. Make sure you get the contact information of those you meet and therefore are able to keep those connections live as you move forward.

11. Be fearlessly confident. 

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This may sound silly but confidence is 90% of networking. You don't have to be brilliant or even 100% sure of what you want to do to start networking. All you need to do is be confident in yourself and your ability to learn and accept advice. Networking is easier than you think, it's just a matter of getting started.

The connections you make, even in your teens, can greatly affect the opportunities you are presented with later in your career path. No matter how you decide to do it, the important thing is that you start. Start networking intentionally, professionally, and aggressively as quickly as you can. The worst thing that can happen is that you end up in the same place you were when you started. Take a leap and kickstart your professional career. It is never too early.

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8 Big Takeaways From My 12-Week Summer Internship

One of the most important things you can gain from an internship is growth through these eight essential takeaways.

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This summer I had the exciting opportunity of completing a semester-long internship. I've completed a few different internships in the past, but this was my first full summer interning at a hands-on company. No matter where you're working, being an intern is an experience unlike any other. It's not a part-time job that you get just to pay the bills, and it's not an experience which will be useless to you; internships are vital to not only building your resume but also growing as a student.

So, after completing my 12-week long internship, I've come up with eight lessons that I think are most important to achieve when you're an intern:

1. Make meaningful relationships with not only the employees, but also your fellow interns.

Networking is one of the most important things to indulge in, especially at the young age of a student intern. The people you work with and for will be important connections to hold on to as you start applying to entry-level jobs post-college, so make sure to say hi's and bye's at the beginning and end of the day, and have conversations with those around you - those simple actions are the foundation of meaningful connections.

2. Take notes on your progress, the work you do, and things that you like and don’t like.

Every day, I wrote down the tasks I worked on, and every now and then I would write a little entry for my own records, taking note on how I was feeling about the work that I was doing and the progress that I was making. Whether it's for the future job interview you'll be preparing for or for the sake of your personal memory, having the details of your internship written down will benefit you down the line.

3. Don’t be afraid to ask your supervisor questions or ask for help.

Having an open line of communication with your superiors is absolutely vital if you want to establish a strong relationship. As well, you should feel comfortable asking for pointers, especially if you aren't understanding what you should be doing.

4. Learn how to communicate professionally with everyone you work with.

The ability to communicate in a mature and professional way is impressive, especially if you are able to reciprocate the communication around you; learn from and adapt to the environment which you are immersed in.

5. Ask for constructive criticism and grow from it.

On top of open and mature communication, learning from constructive criticism is so important to the growth in your internship and professional career and you should not be afraid of hearing how you can do better.

6. Work hard and efficiently, no matter what your task is.

Sometimes, you get to work a few minutes late on a rainy Monday with no coffee in hand and you just are not in the mood to do anything, let alone be productive. On that day and during those seemingly insignificant tasks that you were assigned, remember the bigger picture. Remember to work hard, because you earned this internship and with every day and every task you are in that position, you are investing in your future.

7. Be independent in your work.

It doesn't matter if you are one of five or thirty interns, you should be able to confidently produce your own, original finished products. Asking for other opinions and perspectives is great, but remember that you were hired because of who you are.

8.You are of way more importance than you think.

The most important takeaway is that you are an asset to the company and employers that you are interning for, and that that should not be left without personal recognition. Odds are, your supervisor is going to be endlessly grateful for all of the assistance and work you provided, especially if they see that you enjoyed working there, worked hard, and grew throughout the process.

I'm the biggest proponent about getting out of your comfort zone, experiencing new places and people, and constantly aiming to learn new things and that's exactly what an internship provides you! So don't be afraid to make mistakes and grow out of your comfort zone during this important experience, but the most important part is to reflect on your internship and understand all of the things that you have gained throughout the process.

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Humans Of Orlando: Home Decor Master Ashlee Rosemeyer

An interview with a home decor businesswoman

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There wouldn't be enough adjectives to describe Ashlee Rosemeyer but inventive is just a start. I first met Ashlee through work and got to experience her ambitious work ethic, generous personality and care through her passions. She mentioned she had a passion of starting a home decor business and then in weeks this passion became a reality. This businesswoman and friend sits down with me to discuss her creativity, advice on owning your own business, and her future plans.

AshsToAshs Mission Statement: Mosaic pots for people who love plants. Handcrafted and made-to-order using unique, colorful glass to bring light into daily life. Let love grow with a free packet of seeds accompanied with each pot.




Q: About Me: (Age, Hometown, If you're in school or major or whatever hobbies, aspirations)

I'm 22 years old. I was born in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. I graduated from UCF in 2018 with a Bachelor's in Criminal Justice. My hobbies include crafting, specifically things that involve ceramics and mosaics. I love putting a unique twist on everyday objects. I aspire to continue to challenge myself and grow both personally and professionally.

Q: What profession are you in and whats your dream profession?

I currently have worked as a retail manager for the past four years. I do love expressing myself through style. However, my dream profession would be something related to my criminal justice degree.

Q: What got you passionate to become a business owner and create home decor?

I have a home of my own and absolutely fell in love with decorating it. The more I added in details, the more I thought of how cool it would be if I could add those special details into someone else's home and bring them that same joy.






I look up to Dazey LA. She's a female entrepreneur who specializes in ethically made products. I love how her brand is so personal to her and its bright, real and uplifting. Her clothing makes you feel empowered.

Q: What's the importance of creating a good environment for your home and does art help with that?

I believe that a good environment is vital in encoring a good mood and providing you with a space to grow. Art helps bring inspiration to everyday life. It inspires me to be my most creative self.

Q: What are your goals in 2019?

The main goal of 2019 is to grow AshsToAshs.

Q: What can you say to someone that wants to start their own business?

Just go for it.

Q: How has the social media platform change the way you're able to produce and be creative and reach people?

It helps you reach people that you wouldn't normally get to reach. It helps reinforce your brand and spread your message.






You can discover more of her beautiful handmade pots on her Instagram @_ashstoash_

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