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Are large or small colleges better for making business connections?

I've heard the common phrase, "It's not what you know, it's who you know." So, when making connections for future internships and jobs, are large or small colleges better for this purpose? #connections #business #networking


There's really no difference to small vs large colleges when it comes to networking for future internships. Sure, with larger colleges, the network is often vast whoever because of that, it can be challenging for someone just starting out in their field of study. Why, the completion among others with experience . With smaller colleges, the network is a bit smaller and the resources are aligned a little better for assisting\helping new comers. Nevertheless, you should focus on both for opportunities. The more apples in the bucket, the better the chances of grabbing one :) As always, continue to do your research on the colleges of choice and pay close attention to their goals and objectives... Jeffrey Hammonds Jr

I also note that it is important to make many contacts with your fellow students as they are future connections to maintain for inroads into other companies throughout your career. My recent experience with career days for my son yielded very long lines and no personal connections. At another school, the effectiveness of the career center was nil. My advise would be to visit the career centers at the schools which interest you and ask questions, then compare your findings between the school you are considering. Margaret Smith

According to your request, my response would be a large, reputable college. Join a club and a fraternity. This would give you life long connections you can fall back on. In my own experience, I learned to appreciate the opposite. A small college gives you more one on one. Allows you more attention from the professors. If you are confident and secure in what you learned, Companies will pursue you. You then don’t need connections, your education will speak for itself. Hope that helps. Nicole Senise

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Paul’s Answer

Quality over quantity. You may be able to meet more people or become part of a large alumni associate by graduating from a large school but that doesn't necessarily mean you'll have more quality contacts. or people that can help you along with your career. If you were to enroll in a smaller school you may have the opportunity to make more meaningful contacts because of the closeness of the group.

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Stephanie’s Answer

Hey there,


I went to a very small school, and very infrequently run into alumni from my university. On the other hand, my husband went to a very large state school and always see people out and about with gear from his university.


But, consider this: my last 3 job interviews resulted from people I knew that were not connections from my university, but from other places. Networking is not something that is limited to university contacts. As Marie suggested, LinkedIn is a great place to maintain your connections and make new digital connections, plus consider everyone you meet a connection, if not a professional connection, maybe a personal connection.


Large schools may result in more numerous connections, or may result in more random connections in the future with alumni. But, at a smaller school, you may get a more in depth education with less students in classes.


There's a lot of things to consider when choosing between schools for higher education, but the fact that you are already thinking about networking means you are going to be good at it no matter what you choose as your school. Good luck!

Stephanie recommends the following next steps:

Add your current connections to your LinkedIn (family, high school teachers, part-time job manager, etc.)
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Explore your current connections' connections to see if anyone is in your targeted career or industry.
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Jeff’s Answer

Networking is overrated. Go where you will be willing to work hard. Develop a work effort and the network comes to you. I worked in my career while I got a regular associate's degree and was already killing it before I got my bachelor's. It's not who you know, or what you know, or who knows what you know and when you know it....blah blah blah. It's what you do! If no one gives you a chance then learn the skill and get on upwork to get experience.

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Marie’s Answer

Hi Morgan!


Business connections can be made at both large and small colleges. Larger colleges tend to offer greater resources for students to connect with the community through career fairs and other networking events; however, you as the student should make the effort to connect with peers, professors and other professionals regardless of what college you go to and its size. Also, be sure to take advantage of those career fairs, conferences and other networking events while in school, especially if the school is hosting these events. This is a great way to start establishing a network early on before the job search starts.


While I was in college, I made sure to attend career fairs and connect with the companies I was most interested in working for during those fairs. I collected business cards and followed up with the recruiters by sending a thank you email and attaching my resume.


I also highly recommend getting on LinkedIn to help build your network. LinkedIn is great way to establish a strong network of professionals outside of school. You can also leverage other social media platforms to follow blogs and companies you aspire to work at and just connect with people worldwide to learn more about the industries you're most interested in professionally. For example, I follow companies like Airbnb, Google and Amazon on LinkedIn which as a result fills my news feed with articles regarding company news product, vision, jobs, etc.


Good luck!

Marie recommends the following next steps:

Create a LinkedIn profile and start making connections!
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Michael’s Answer

The phrase for today is "It's not who you know that counts, It's who knows what you know that counts". So the quality of your connections is far more valuable than the quantity of connections. When opportunities arise, you want the decision makers to know that you're capable of achieving excellence.

The size of the school does not matter, What matters is where can you get the best affordable education, in regard to your specific career aspirations. If you are undecided about specific career goals, then get the best general education possible. English, Economics, History, Psychology, and Math are all great majors. Your education is a life-long process. What's important is that you are prepared (know your stuff) to make honest sincere connections with people of influence who appear to be ethical and impactful.

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Les’s Answer

I don't think that the size or even "name recognition" colleges make that much difference. The key is develop a networking for life mindset. The contacts you make and cultivate in your our job and profession are what matters.

The first step is to look at all the local organizations in the city or region where you work and join the applicable ones. Next, volunteer - that is where you really get to know. As an example, if I was asked this question by someone in the DFW area, below is a sampling of professional associations. You can compile a similar list anywhere - search and join.
Engineering\Technology Groups & Associations:
Society of Petroleum Engineers Dallas
American Society of Civil Engineers
Association of IT Professionals Dallas
Club AJAX
Communications & Vehicular Technology
Dallas Architectural Foundation
Dallas County Medical Society
Dallas Forum for Biomedical Technology
Dallas/Fort Worth ColdFusion User Group
DFW Business Objects Group
DFW Cisco Users Group
DFW Cold Fusion Users Group
DFW Society for Technical Communication
DFW Technology Executives
DFW Unix Users Group
Geek Meet
IEEE Dallas
IEEE/EMC Society
Information Systems Security Association
Information Technology Professionals
Java Metroplex User's Group
Metroplex Technology Business Council
MIT Enterprise Forum DFW
North Texas .NET Users Group
North Texas Global Telecommunications Society
North Texas Linux Users Group
North Texas Technology Council
Society for Technical Communication
Society of Earth Scientists Dallas
Society of Women Engineers Dallas
SPE Young Professionals Dallas
Tech Alliance of Dallas
Technology Entrepreneurs Exchange


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Carlos’s Answer

Everything in life has its pros and cons. Attending smaller schools may limit the exposure you have to business contacts but larger schools may make you less visible since the pool of talent is significantly larger. At the end of the day, it's what you have to offer and how you market yourself that will make a difference.

I suggest you focus on the industry you want to utilize your talents in, then start networking outside the "box". In other words, LinkedIn, Twitter, volunteering, etc. Many times, I have come across individuals that I've met at business lunches, seminars, and or speaking engagements. Because my particular industry is small, we are bound to cross paths again. So in a nutshell, yes...it's who know but also what you can do for them and on a consistent basis. That's how you make a name for your brand.

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Paul’s Answer

Quality over quantity. You may be able to meet more people or become part of a large alumni associate by graduating from a large school but that doesn't necessarily mean you'll have more quality contacts. or people that can help you along with your career. If you were to enroll in a smaller school you may have the opportunity to make more meaningful contacts because of the closeness of the group.

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David’s Answer

Larger and smaller colleges each have their advantages and disadvantages, Larger schools often have better name recognition, and typically have services to help students find internships and jobs. However, students can get lost in the crowd with large schools. Smaller schools offer more personalized help where faculty and staff know each student. However, many small schools are not staffed for finding internships for student and hosting recruiters from potential employers. Either way, the responsibility rests with the student to pursue opportunities and leverage the advantages of the large or small school. Probably the ideal course of action is to attend a smaller school that has an excellent reputation in the area for academics and has relationships with the local industry. Unfortunately, such schools often have a low acceptance rate for incoming students and be quite expensive. Again, students that take charge of their internship and career opportunities will do very well in either large or small colleges.

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Jeffrey’s Answer

here's really no difference to small vs large colleges when it comes to networking for future internships. Sure, with larger colleges, the network is often vast whoever because of that, it can be challenging for someone just starting out in their field of study. Why, the completion among others with experience . With smaller colleges, the network is a bit smaller and the resources are aligned a little better for assisting\helping new comers. Nevertheless, you should focus on both for opportunities. The more apples in the bucket, the better the chances of grabbing one :) As always, continue to do your research on the colleges of choice and pay close attention to their goals and objectives...

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Blake’s Answer

Hey Morgan,

You can get connections from either large or small universities. Large universities will give you more chances because there are more students, but that doesn't mean that they are better connections than the other.

Thanks,
Blake

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Michael’s Answer

The phrase for today is "It's not who you know that counts, It's who knows what you know that counts". So the quality of your connections is far more valuable than the quantity of connections. When opportunities arise, you want the decision makers to know that you're capable of achieving excellence.

The size of the school does not matter, What matters is where can you get the best affordable education, in regard to your specific career aspirations. If you are undecided about specific career goals, then get the best general education possible. English, Economics, History, Psychology, and Math are all great majors. Your education is a life-long process. What's important is that you are prepared (know your stuff) to make honest sincere connections with people of influence who appear to be ethical and impactful.

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Simeon’s Answer

I agree with the sentiment of the others who have said that quality matters more than quantity. It doesn't really help you to network with people that you don't share much chemistry with or wouldn't feel comfortable reaching out to during the job search. Small colleges makes this easier, but if you can achieve that quality with clubs and social groups at a larger university, the pay-off will be better.

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Heather’s Answer

Regardless of where you go... find your tribe. I went to a then-small public university (less than 5,000 students) that has grown a lot (25,000).

Also, better to have a degree and less debt in most cases. I went to a public university and could pay for my expenses as I went. Coming out of school with no debt helped me to save up for a house sooner.

What has been important for career and networking was the group of people I met through activities and classes. Those are the people whom I consult for advice and assistance.

What can be important is the alumni network. For example, in Texas, often we do see disdain for a college that was a rival in football. That can affect the hiring manager’s preference.

Heather recommends the following next steps:

Find the program that’s the best fit for you.
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Consider the cost - how much debt will that mean?
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Jash’s Answer

I believe a larger university has its advantages because you can still build intimate relationships but have the minds of individuals to learn/share concepts ideas based on their degree. I also attended a small school in addition and found that you build deeper connections based on similar values which suit each other well for pursuits in the same field of business.

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Jack’s Answer

It's a trade-off: small colleges provide a number of close relationships and friendships, while large universities afford a broad selection of peers and alumni.

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Cassandra’s Answer

You have the ability to make connections no matter the size of college. I suggest becoming a member of multiple teams or groups that will help introduce you to people that have similar interests to you. Be involved and take charge of your future.

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Dreyton Seth’s Answer

Hi Morgan,

First congratulations on thinking long-term and identifying college as part of that long-term journey. When thinking of attaining a career via college, I would challenge you not to think about small vs. large school but think of mature vs. immature programs.

When researching colleges, look at their recruitment statistics, typically shared on their websites. There you will find answers to questions such as "where do students go after graduating from this program", "what companies recruit from this school", and "what resources the school offers to set you up for a successful career". By attending an institution that best answers these questions for you, you will have a better frame of reference of what can you expect from the program, no matter its size.

Everything else, such as network, opportunities and so forth will come naturally because by attending a program that aligns to those core questions, you will naturally meet like-minded individuals and build contacts that can service you in the future.

Your choice of college will be one of the single-most important decisions you make. Please be sure it is a decision you researched well, thought long and hard about and, are ready to commit to.

Dreyton Hilton

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Scheilla’s Answer

Is not about big or small colleges, is about what you learn and how you apply it!


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Susan’s Answer

I believe it is not whether the school is large or small but whether the alumni actively network. Rarely do I have anyone contact me from my undergraduate university - and it is a 40,000 student body school with a long history. While I frequently am contacted by my graduate institution that is 9,000 student body. I believe the difference stems largely from initiatives of the university - opportunities (such as online directories) for networking and level to which they keep the alumni engaged with the university. I also believe that people do not use alumni directories enough in networking. I have always taken a call/email from a fellow alum.
How can an HS graduate gauge this difference? Perhaps check if the alumni group is active in the city where they eventually want to live. Look at the website and see how much seems to be dedicated to alumni. Perhaps call a few alums in your area and ask them!
Susan

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