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Networking in your First Semester: A Guide

This year has been nothing but a roller coaster ride for everyone, especially college students. Things have been so uncertain since the quarantine period began in March. Now, we are approaching a new semester of fall 2020: a crucial time for incoming freshmen. The first semester for a freshman is always the time to start networking and building connections that will help them throughout their time in college. Although the University of Iowa had decided to follow the hybrid learning system this semester, many events encourage freshman networking have been canceled or moved virtually. 

 

Here are some resources for you to start networking in your first semester:

1. Virtual Fairs

The University of Iowa always has multicultural and academic organization fairs on campus where thousands of freshmen find organizations that feel like home to them. Due to uncertain times, this year the University is organizing multiple virtual fairs where members of various organizations will be there to answer everyone’s questions. This can be a great opportunity for freshmen to start building their connections on campus. 

 

2. Jobs/Internships

Students coming into University are always looking to enhance their work experience whether it be through jobs or internships. The Pomerantz Career Center is the place for that. There are several options through the Pomerantz Career Center for students that range from setting up an appointment with a career advisor for resume tips to looking for jobs on their Handshake website. The career center is also a great place to get updates on upcoming employment fairs. 

Link for the career center: https://careers.uiowa.edu/

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3. Online Presence

Amidst a pandemic, your online presence can play a vital role in landing a job, attending seminars, or simply connecting with people. Platforms like LinkedIn are a great way to start. These platforms keep you updated on job opportunities or seminars that interest you. These websites are also a way to connect with your professors in a professional way. Who knows, you might be able to find an opportunity to get involved in their research.

 

4. Cold emailing

Cold emailing is essentially emailing people you do not know. It could be people you admire or anyone you met through events on campus. Cold emailing sometimes can result in fruitful conversations. This was you can mark your presence with the person you emailed. It is said that one should follow up with someone they met within 48 hours so that they know that you have thought about the conversation you had earlier.

 

No doubt, this semester networking can be challenging, but these tips can definitely give you a start on making helpful college or lifelong connections. Happy networking!

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Ayushi is a Junior majoring in microbiology and working towards getting a certificate in creative writing. She likes to read and binge watch T.V. shows when she is not busy with school and student organizations!
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