4 answers

What are some ways of getting connections while you're in college?

Asked Los Angeles, California

Making connections is very important and something everyone should be doing. Not sure how and where to start networking though. #university #internships #college-bound #networking

4 answers

Daniela’s Answer

Updated State of Goiás, State of Goiás, Brazil

Hello Sean,

Here are 6 tips for networking while you're still in college:

"The concept is to plant the seeds before you need to harvest them," says Heather Krasna, director of career services at the University of Washington's Evans School of Public Affairs.

  • Play the student card: Alumni and other contacts are more likely to want to help you while you're still a student, Krasna says. "It's less pressure because the person is just asking for advice," she says, and not yet looking for a job. That means if you want to pick the brain of someone who works in the industry you want to go into or even request an informational interview, now's the time to do it. Grow those relationships while there's no pressure, so those contacts will want to help you when you transition to the work world.

  • Use your friends' parents as resources: They've got decades of experience and are probably willing to share their expertise with you—and maybe even their contacts, too.

  • Get out of the bubble: The isolation of some college campuses fosters learning, but when it comes to networking, students can get ahead by networking off campus. Check out conferences in your field or your local Chamber of Commerce. Use social media strategically about six to eight weeks in advance of your landing at that conference to reach out to people who are going to be at that event.

  • Use LinkedIn: Too many students make the mistake of thinking they can avoid LinkedIn until after college, but the smart move is to use it now to track the network you're building. LinkedIn recently launched new options for students that make it easier than ever to get the hang of this network.

  • Use Twitter strategically: While LinkedIn is lauded as the professional social network, Twitter can be even more useful for connecting with people you want to know. Make a list of people in your industry who you look up to, and use the network strategically to connect with them. Like LinkedIn, Twitter can help you take all of these strategies to the next level because it provides an opportunity to keep in touch with the network you're building.

  • Get an internship: This is the most obvious option, but it can't be overstated. The value of an internship is tremendous, both in terms of skills and contacts. Employers often hire full-time workers from their internship pool, which means having an internship puts you ahead of other job seekers. In addition to giving you real-life experience to put on your résumé, an internship puts you in eyesight of people who work in your field of choice, which means they're more likely to think of you when job opportunities arise.

In: http://www.usnews.com/education/best-colleges/articles/2011/09/28/6-ways-to-network-while-youre-in-college

Good luck in your achievements!

This is really helpful, thank you!

Ollie’s Answer

Updated Boston, Massachusetts

The social media work (LinkedIn and that stuff) is pretty obvious. But here's the not-so-obvious stuff for networking in college.

Do a five-minute favor for somebody at least once a week. Read Adam Grant's book "Give and Take" to understand why.

Keep an address book (it can be electronic) of interesting people you meet. Make sure you get their email and/or mobile numbers. Make a note of what was interesting about them. Review this list once in a while and figure out who's on your A list.

Many of these people will be your fellow students. Some of these same people will very likely be your co-workers later. Some of them will be profs, TAs, and etc.

Do the networking events. If there are conferences or other such things, pick one or two to help organize. When somebody sends you to the airport to pick up the keynote speaker, GO.

Circle back with your A list. Go to lunch with them. Throw a party for your interesting-people pals. Always ask people on your list, "what's going on in your life these days?" Listen.

When you get to a decision point, call some of your A-listers and ask for advice.

In other words, build your relationships. Some of them will prove to be life-long.

This is a great question!

Chris’s Answer

Updated Washington

Great Question as networking is a life-long necessity to achieving your goals... I am a huge proponent of utilizing LinkedIn and this can be the easiest and fastest way to build a network... Create a profile - plenty of tips available on best way to do this as a college student Search LinkedIn for Alumni who majored in your field of study Send the alumni who are closest to your geographical location an intro email - Tell them briefly about yourself and that you would like to add them to your LinkedIn network Based on responses you receive ask them if you could meet or talk by phone to learn more about their company and their role - People love to help other people so don't be afraid to do this

If you send 1-3 messages every day for a week you will be surprised how many responses you get and then have as potential further network contacts...

Happy to share more on tips to introduce yourself and/or other networking suggestions !


Ken’s Answer

Updated Cleveland, Ohio

Hi Sean!

The best way to make connections is by face to face networking where ever possible. We rely too much on electronic means and are losing touch with personal interaction. Here are some tips on networking: http://www.wikihow.com/Network https://www.themuse.com/advice/nonawkward-ways-to-start-and-end-networking-conversations

Here are some good ways to network: - talk to your school counselor about becoming involved in coop, intern, shadowing, and volunteer programs that will allow you to meet those who might be working in your career area of interest so you can learn what they do, how they got there, how you feel about it, and what advice they might have - talk to the head of alumni relations at your school to arrange to meet and visit graduates of your school who are doing what you think that you want to do,so you can learn more - talk to your school counselor or the reference librarian at your local library to locate professional organizations in your area to which people in your career area of interest belong, so you can attend meetings to mix and mingle and learn more. These organizations are open to inquiries from and participation by students.

Let me know if and how this might be helpful. Keep me posted. I would like to follow your progress.

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