On top of relying on LinkedIn, you can also check and see if the company is hosting any events that are open to the public. Some companies will host meetups or events to try attract talent and attending can be a great way to get to know people in the company and other people in other companies that maybe you hadn't thought of.
Also keep an eye out for conferences or career fairs that the company might be attending. Some of them are free to the public. Others have a fee but some will also offer scholarships to people who can't afford to go so you can submit an application.
Most conferences also have a directory of attendees so before the conference you can scroll through and identify people you'd like to meet. You can reach out through the conference app and directory and offer to buy a coffee in exchange for time to talk at the conference at a meet-up point.
Attending these events with your LinkedIn app ready to go will be helpful. On the LinkedIn app you can scan another persons QR code so you can connect with them. Meeting in person and connecting on LinkedIn is gonna help you stand out in the person memory since you actually met IRL and you can use that connection later on once you start looking for opportunities/internships.
Helpful tip - bring a battery pack to keep your phone charged as using LinkedIn and conference apps heavily while networking can be draining on the battery.
Sarah recommends the following next steps:
- Build out your LinkedIn profile
- Research free conferences you can attend
- Research relevant conferences where you may qualify for a scholarship to attend
- Download the LinkedIn Mobile App - learn how to use "Find People Nearby" function and "QR code" function