What a great question and I know many can benefit from you asking. Augusto and Emily have made great points. I wouuld also add that volunteering in your community can help grow some meaningful and interesting connections. By volunteering, you are working alongside others in your community that may have different types of careers and even potential job opportunities. It is also a chance to just expand your network of people you know and who can possibly help you in your future career goals.
You can find out volunteer opportunities through your school, church, local non-profit organizations and online by searching helpful volunteer event focused websites.
Also, when others see you in a volunteer role, they will get to know you better as well and can witness you in action, as a leader or someone who is serving others to make an impact in our world.
Best wishes for success in your education and career goals.
Melisa recommends the following next steps:
The connections you make with others can be extremely beneficial to your own success, both personally and professionally. First off, simply be aware of your surroundings and the people around you who you could strike up a conversation with, no matter where you are. You never know who's in your company until you get talking to them! Outside of casually interacting with someone, there are different extracurricular groups you can join that have amazing networking opportunities! Personally, I joined the Delta Sigma Pi co-ed business fraternity at my college, UConn. Not only did these become my best friends long after college, but it becomes a professional network you have for life! There have been so many times when my 'brothers' from the fraternity have reached out to our network when their company has an opening to see whether any of us are interested. I've also had friends in my fraternity interview for a job and it turns out the interviewer was a member of the same fraternity at a different college! They had an immediate connection and it made the interview experience that much better for the candidate. I could not more highly recommend joining a professional club or fraternity if offered at your school.
This is 100% true in my experience. Human connections are one of the most important things not only in business, but in life.
You can make connections everywhere starting with your family. Building strong connections with your parents, siblings, and relatives is very important for emotional support which you're going to need throughout your career. High school friends may or may not impact your business life, but those friendships tend to stick around forever and the more of those you have the happier you are going to be and the more energy you are going to have to succeed in business. College tends to be a better place to make friends that are also likely to walk with you along the same career path. In my experience, college friends have been the most important connections that helped my progress in my career. And last but not least, once you graduate from college and start working, you will have the chance to meet lots of great people. Make sure to invest enough time to cultivate those relationships too.
Also, I would advise on networking with people that you share chemistry with. It's no use trying to make connections with people who won't remember you. You won't feel comfortable asking them for favors and they won't be as likely to think of you when a job opening comes up. In fact, just socializing in general is a solid way to build your professional network long-term.