The Art of Networking and It's Many Rewards

Driven college students know that the lifeblood of their success is found in making the right connections. For those of us that are extroverts this may come easily, but for others not so much. Whatever it is that is hindering you from networking, it’s time to overcome it and jump in headfirst. Here are four tips to follow to help you make those meaningful connections that will jumpstart your career.

1. Use Your Time Efficiently.

A common perception of and among college students is that they are always short on time. In classes, we are bombarded with the message: networking is key to success, yet many of us don’t capitalize on the opportunities because we feel like we don’t have any time. Here’s a recipe you can follow for a productive day: wake up early, get out of those sweatpants and slip into something that makes you feel good, drink coffee, make a list and get it done.  

2. Connect With Professors and Reach Out to Faculty.

Here’s something you can do right now: build stronger relationships with your professors. Email them and ask when they are available to meet outside of class. Whether it’s during office hours or at a coffee shop – professors want to help you. Don’t limit yourself to only the professors that you have classes with reach out to other instructors in your department and ask for advice on your career path.  

3. Clean-up Your Social Media and Use it Professionally.

First, it is time to tidy up your social media. If you’re over 21 it’s all right to post pictures with alcohol, but keep it classy. Once you’ve made professional connections, a great way to keep them is by utilizing social media. Use it as a tool to let companies get to know your personality and likewise. It’s especially pivotal to add them on LinkedIn. Don’t send a generic message when connecting – make it personal. Professionals like to see that you are making an effort to create a quality connection. Do you dream of working for specific companies? Aside from LinkedIn, make a point to follow them on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. This will help further demonstrate your interest.

4. Pay it forward  

Help others succeed. This step represents the hallmark of leadership and it will set you apart. Be sincere and help connect people without looking for something in return. This step is key but often overlooked. Utilize it and reap the benefits of your own success in the long run.