How important are the networks that we build in college?
I am a high school junior pursuing Harvard University, an extremely influential school known for it's impeccable network building qualities. I want to know how the networks we build with people in college actually affect our careers. #college #marketing #student #network
Super great question. Networks can help in many ways, and sometimes you don't even see it for years and years. For instance, I recently ran into an alumni friend from my college where I graduated over 25 years ago, and now have a speaking engagement with their organization. Similarly, my network from college have helped all sorts of things that you just don't even think of in college, and in more ways than one serves as a support system - many things others have already tried, how can you leverage their experience and learn accordingly? What is important to remember is you will get as much out of a network that you put into it, so plan both to receive and do some giving in order to get the full reward.
Timothy, networking is extremely important and the more you do early the more opportunities could present itself. You want to network with professors, professional associations and the professionals you will meet in those organizations that are related to your field of study, you want to network with your peers (you never know who they may know or introduce you to) you want to get involved in the community by volunteering and getting involved with organizations that are important to you. You want to get involved in school related activities (sports, clubs, greek life, etc) that you enjoy or mean a lot to you (whether it is related to your field of study or not) You just never know who people are connected to and what exposure you may get. Employers are looking for specific job skills certainly, but personality matches, and how well rounded a person is.
Seconding the earlier answer. Building networks is very important, however, you get what you give. Networks are very much a two-way street, even for young people just starting out. Make connections, get involved in projects and learn from others, but be prepared to give back and maintain your relationships. You'll never go wrong knowing people who share common interests professionally.