In our daily lives, even if we don’t mean to, we are networking ourselves. What is networking, you ask? Networking is just like starting at a new school. At first, you don’t have any friends. But as you join groups, you begin to meet people, and you build a friends list of those with similar interests. Basically, networking is the thing to do throughout your college career and years to come. You want to land that dream job right? I suggest you network yourself. The best way to begin is by joining organizations on campus and off campus!
Just by joining organizations on or off campus you will be able to instantly build new relationships with people; which is the main reason to network. Many campuses offer a variety of groups to join. You can become a part of your major’s honor society or join that eye catching sorority. Whatever you choose, it will turn out to be a great move for your future.
Better yet, we can all put our smart phones to even better by checking more than just Facebook, Tweeting our new favorite polish color. We can use our smartphones to join and connect with other users on social networking sites such as LinkedIN. On this website you are able to build connections with people you already know, including others within the business world. This network offers groups that you can join which update you on new trends within the field, internships as well as job opportunities. It’s a must have! Business cards are also very important and extremely useful in many different scenarios. Say you’re out at the local Starbucks waiting on your latte and you spark up a conversation with someone who’s in the field of your dream job: this is the perfect time to reach into your purse and hand them a card with all of the essentials a name, number, and email. Make sure to keep it professional!
Most importantly when you’re networking, especially in a crowd, you want to stand out in the conversation (and I don’t just mean visually). Show off that brain! Ask open-ended questions. These types of questions tend to be helpful in getting to know a person, which in turn helps to improve your knowledge. Make sure you listen more then you speak. Follow the 80/20 rule you’ll be golden. Reach out and get yourself a mentor; internship advisers and professors are perfect!So girls, pack up your purse with business cards, get a LinkedIN account and go out and network yourself!
Also, check out Kate’s article on Graduate School or Starting a Career: Which is Right for You?