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Networking 101

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

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Networking may seem like a very difficult task that requires a lot of preparation and difficulty, but in actuality networking can happen anywhere and everywhere. All networking is, is building connections. It is starting conversations and seeing where they can go. Whenever you meet new people you never know how they will affect and impact your life. All you have to do is make conversation and know what to look for. 

How to start conversations

Starting conversations can be extremely difficult, but they can end up being very important because you never know who you might meet. You could meet someone that changes your career, gives you impactful advice, or you can make a new friend. The possibilities are endless when it comes to networking. 

In order to start the conversation you need to get over the fear of something bad happening. The worst that could happen is that someone you don’t even know does not feel like having a conversation. If this happens you can move on to the next person to talk to, and see what happens. Most people tend to be friendly, and once the initial awkward phase is over, and whole conversation can erupt and you now have someone to keep in touch with. Think of the positives when going into the conversation and be open to all the new possibilities.

You can start conversations in many different ways, try to find things in common, ask a question, or you could give a compliment. This establishes a way to keep the conversation going and can allow you to read their reaction to see how open they are to connecting. Try to keep the conversation flowing naturally, and ask questions when you do not know what to say, people love to talk about themselves! When you have to leave the conversation try to see about getting some form of contact information so you can stay in touch. You never know how someone may help you along the way! 

Where to network

Networking can occur anytime that you are around someone you may not know. You could network at job fairs, the store, the airport, etc. All you have to do in order to network is make a connection. You never know who someone is or what they do until you talk to them. Anywhere is a great place to meet people! At a job fair intentions are clear that someone want to hire, and someone wants to get hired. Have an interesting conversation, ask questions, and help yourself have a foot in the door as to what you are interested in. In the store, if you run into someone in an aisle and they look interesting ask them a question, or give them a compliment, and see if this leads to a conversation, the best conversations can come from unexpected places. Or an airport is another great place, you already know where the person next to you is going, and you can ask them why they are going there and what they plan on doing. There are so many opportunities for meaningful connections, and all you have to do is say hello. Overall, start a conversation and see what happens!

Hi! My name is Makenna, and I am the GCU Her Campus correspondent. I am a junior majoring in business management, and I am from Arizona! I love reading, writing, and being a part of Her Campus GCU!