In my experience there are a various ways to build networking connections while in college:
1. Connect with students not only from your class, but also older students who will graduate and find jobs before you. You can do that by joining extracurricular activities, meeting people in class etc.
2. Try to meet alumni of your school who are already working. You can do that by attending career workshop events or other events that alumni join.
3. Speak to your professors about students who have obtained job positions in the field(s) that interest you. Professors can provide connections or tips on how to meet alumni. You can also ask the college career office to facilitate connections/introduce you
Overall, I would say you should try to meet people who will enter the workforce soon or have already had offers of employment. They will be your connection at different employer organizations.
This is a great question, and there are some wonderful answers here. Having a diverse network is important in almost all aspects of life - not just for internships or job interviews. Keep in mind that you're not expected to have all the answers, and that the more people you know, the easier it'll be for you to discover what you don't know, and who to learn from!
There are many ways to make connections in college, and one is to research and identify people with similar interests to you. Some things you can do:
- Join clubs and participate in events in areas that interest you. ie: want to be an engineer? Join an engineering club and attend a networking event!
- Read blogs or look into MeetUps or other events (virtual or in person) about business topics or fields you're passionate about. Introduce yourself to others who are passionate about solving the same problems or chasing the same opportunities you're interested in!
- Research well known business leaders or thought leaders. What made them successful? Who has followed in their footsteps or learned from them? Can you reach out to those people directly or through their networks?
- Browse LinkedIn for people who work in fields or at companies that interest you. Send a message asking for a virtual coffee so you can learn what they like about their field, industry, company, etc.
Hope this helps!
The easiest way to make connections in college is to go to various job events and fairs and meet people from companies there. If you talk to them and show interest, later you can schedule a call to learn more and create a strong connection. Another way to make connections is to reach out to your school's alumni working at the companies you would want to work at and ask for a 15-minute call to learn more about their company and position. Alumni usually love to help their school. LinkedIn is the best tool for finding connections.