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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Old Westbury chapter.

As media majors, most of us have probably been been advised to “network, network, network” at some point in our college careers. We’re also told how important “who you know” is and how valuable it is to keep in touch with contacts you’ve made over the years. Actually putting this to practice can be daunting, though, especially if you’re in a crowded room full of professionals – maybe even ones you idolize! Eventually you will get the hang of it and I’ve learned a few networking tips that have made it easier for me. 


Make business cards.

Business cards are SO important when it comes to familiarizing people in the industry with your name. Most sites offer great deals where you can purchase 100 cards for $10 or less. For the most part, all you need on the card is your name, school, major, and title (if applicable), contact information, and a portfolio website, if you have one. Keep it simple and easy to read.


Attend every opportunity you’re invited to.

Get to know professors and mentors at your college. Chances are they’ll eventually email you about upcoming networking events and opportunities to meet people in the industry. Check out the flyers around school, and research important people that may be attending these events. This makes ice-breakers more unique, and proves your dedication. Any professional will be more than happy to talk about their work and accomplishments. Research people attending and match names to faces, too! A professor recently invited me to an awards luncheon where a few of us students had the opportunity to mingle with local news anchors and reporters. It was scary but such an incredible opportunity!


Perfect your elevator pitch.

Crafting the perfect elevator pitch can be difficult. However, having a decent pitch will impress your superiors and startle your competition. Of course, it’s awkward to talk about yourself without seeming like you’re bragging to an industry professional, but employers look for individuals who have a maintained ego and are proud of themselves. Make sure in your pitch that you explain who you are, your goals in the industry, and that the pitch is tailored to each individual uniquely.


Talk about who you know and what you know.

Similar to your elevator pitch, talk about yourself. A professor once told me, “Ego is a good thing. Out of control ego is not.” Therefore, explain the work you’ve done, the skills that you have, and the places you have worked and want to work. Even if your goals are with another company that is competition, chances are someone knows somebody within that organization. You never know where the professional you’re talking to has worked before or connected with at other companies, as well as their own.



Fake it till you make it!

Another professor once told me to “fake it till I make it.” Basically, don’t be afraid to go into a situation that may be new to you or make you feel uncomfortable. Most industry professionals are nice and are willing to give you advice if you’re willing to listen. These people have all been in your shoes before and understand the stress and pressure of starting a career in your industry. Pretend to know the facts even if you don’t, and be confident in your abilities to navigate through a memorable and effective conversation.

Quality over quantity.

Don’t worry about the number of different people you meet at networking events and in the industry. The key is to create a lasting impression on who you’re talking to so that they will remember you down the road. One or two memorable connections are more beneficial than a bunch of surface-level interactions. Ask for their contact info, exchange business cards, and connect with them on LinkedIn or Facebook later on. Send the individual an email after talking with them to thank them for their time and advice.


Michelle is pursuing a degree in Media and Communications at SUNY Old Westbury. All that really matters to her are cute dogs, good food, and making her dreams come true. As a wise woman once said, "Never apologize for being a powerful f*cking woman."
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Deirdre Bardolf

Old Westbury

"With freedom, books, flowers, and the moon, who could not be happy?" Student, 22. Long Island