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What are the best ways to network?

I'm wondering what are the most effective methods of networking? Is volunteering the best or are informational interviews with professionals in my field of choice? I want to gain a network before applying for grad school and find a mentor. #graduate-school #volunteering #networking #mentoring #professional-development #professional-training #professional-mentoring

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Carole’s Answer

Networking should be an everyday experience just like brushing your teeth. Here are some suggestions of ways to network: friends; family, teachers; groups or clubs that you belong to; even start a conversation waiting to see the doctor with the other patients (if they are willing); counselors that you have at school. Maybe you decide to join a new discussion group in which you introduce yourself and tell the audience a little bit about you. I have had the experience of networking when I was in the grocery store waiting in line to check out. Always be aware of your surroundings and if the moment comes up for you to ask someone about the job they do or if there company is hiring now, then ask them in a very nice congenial way, that way you can get more information and it may become a job lead for you and you have started a communication with that person.


The important part of networking is to make new contacts which might help you in the near future to get the job you would like to have. Linedin is a great source if you have your resume on this site and get more involved just like what you are doing right now.


Volunteering and any kind of internship might lead you to other contacts and you would gain valuable networking experience. Communication of any sort is the only way to network. It is the only way for people to know that you are out there.


If you follow some of the ideas given to you, I know that you will soon have a many people to network with and get to your desired goal. Three things to remember: COMMUNICATE, COMMUNICATE, COMMUNICATE!!
I wish you the best in pursuing your communication skills for networking.

Thank you comment icon Thank you very much for your answer Carole. Seems like I need to work on communicating! Thanks again. Mounia
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Rebecca’s Answer

I counsel students to utilize their entire network. You can reach out to teacher/professors and ask them for leads of professionals you can network with who work in your field of interest. Reachout to your family and friends - you never know who is in their network. Volunteering is a great way to expand your network while gaining valuable skills that are transferrable (ex. - communication, leadership, teamwork skills). In short, networking opportunities are everywhere!

Thank you comment icon Thank you for your answer Rebecca! Mounia
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William’s Answer

All of the above advice is good, I just have a question for you, are you comfortable talking to strangers? Networking is putting yourself out there and not be afraid of what other people are thinking. Personally, I recommend trying for informational interviews if you are comfortable meeting strangers but if you are shy around people using social media and in particular LinkedIn is probably your best bet. People get confused about what networking is...basically it is just being able to talk to people. Be a good listener because the person you are talking to may not be the right person for your goals but they may know someone or some position that is right. Always ask this question before you end a conversation: Is there anyone else you think I should talk to? This is a great door opener because you will then be able to say; so and so recommended I talk to you. It works. Good luck.

Thank you comment icon Thank you for your answer William. To answer your question, I am fairly comforatable talking to stranagers, but see informational interviews as an option that would allow me to get my questions and concerns answered directly. Thank you again for your advice! Mounia
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Valerie’s Answer

Volunteering is a great way to network in a casual, informal way and the bonus is that you are giving back to the community - volunteering looks great on a resume for a job and on grad school applications. Find causes that means the most to you and volunteer with them, they will draw a diverse cross section of people and you never know where that networking will lead.


I would also seek out professional organizations for your field of choice and inquire on joining as junior member, or if they have a sponsorship program that you might be able to participate in - this way you start building relationships with professionals within your field choice and a mentor might arise from that.


Good luck.

Thank you comment icon Thank you for your answer! I will have to look into professional organizations. Thanks again! Mounia
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Allen’s Answer

Hi Mounia - I agree with Andressa. I think a combination of LinkedIn groups, volunteering and informational interviews are all great steps in building a network and getting people to know who you are aside from your resume and credentials. It also gives you time to figure out what you want to do with your career.

Thank you comment icon Allen, Thank you very much for your answer. Informational interviews are something that I have been looking into. Mounia
Thank you comment icon You're welcome Mounia! Informational interviews gives you time to ask a lot of questions you may have without the pressures of formally interviewing. People in general are glad to help especially when you are mindful of their time and giving them an opportunity to tell you more about what they do. Allen Hillery
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Jamaal’s Answer

Absolutely! When seeking out a network or mentor, be sure to communicate what your expectations are for that networking structure as well as how you plan utilize that resource. I think you should have a mixture of face-to-face networking opportunities along with the social media platforms. like you mentioned, volunteering and interviews cover both. A mixture between the two, will provide a "whole-person" concept, which will give you a better balance of non-verbal and facial expressions versus emojis and text on a screen,
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Andressa’s Answer

Hello Mounia,
How you doing?
Some networking methods that work very well for me are discussion groups on some social networks, such as Linkedin for example. I seek to enter into subject groups that can bring me professional knowledge, and that I can contribute also, even though I have little experience in the subject.
In this group you have the possibility to meet professionals from different companies and who work in different markets. In this way, you have the possibility to meet companies, people, mentors, courses, among others.
Volunteering and interviews with professionals in the field are also very effective, I would recommend volunteering because you can develop your career and still offer something very valuable to several people, your help and your time.


Regards from Brazil and good luck!

Thank you comment icon Thank you! I will have to look into that feature of LinkedIn. Mounia
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Jamaal’s Answer

Understanding the concept of communication..
Thank you comment icon Hi Jamaal! Thanks for your answer. Could you give the student a little more detail on what you mean by this? What kind of understanding should the student have in order to network in the best way? Thanks in advance! Alexandra Carpenter, Admin
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