A strong professional network is known to open doors to incredible career opportunities. Yes, it can be a bit time consuming and sometimes inconvenient, but dealing with the right people will give you a great competitive advantage over your peers.
What kind of networker are you?
Find out what kind of network suits you best. For example, if you don’t feel comfortable in large groups, socializing over a one-on-one coffee may work best for you. Once you understand your style, it becomes easier to approach the right people to build your network.
1. Start at home
It’s best to start socializing with people you already know. This could be people in college, your hostel, or even the library you go to with whom you can look into creating meaningful friendships.
Simple tip: If it seems difficult to approach people, try introducing yourself to your classmate sitting next to you to get an edge. Once it works, move around the classroom and rotate your seat to meet more peers.
2. Keep communicating with your professors
Each institution’s faculty is experienced and already has many industry connections. Keep communicating with them to find out if there are any networking events taking place in and around campus. They can also help keep you updated on various internship or job opportunities available to students in the area.
3. Join clubs and communities
Become an active participant in a student club or community of your choice. This will help meet new people with similar tastes and also improve your organizational and leadership skills.
4. Networking events work great
Keep checking the message boards and bulletins for upcoming networking events or seminars as these are great people to meet with potential employers and valuable industry connections. Walk up and introduce yourself to people, exchange contact details and keep in touch later.
5. Rock social media
Use networking sites like LinkedIn and Twitter to meet professionals in your industry. Be proactive and engage with organizations and other industry leaders who share current trends and interesting updates.
6. Connect alumni
Contact your university’s alumni and get in touch with them. They can help you understand the challenges they’ve been through and give you practical advice about life after college.