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What is the best way to network in an online only school?

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I will be attending an online school for my Master's Program and would like to make some contacts that may help me later. #networking #online-schooling #graduate-school #connections

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Bryant’s Answer

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Hi Elizabeth,


That's fantastic that you are pursuing an online Master's. I personally received a Master's online back in 2011 and REALLY enjoyed my experience. I can only imagine how much better the online experience is 6-7 years later with improved technology and networking platforms.


My first suggestion is to utilize every resource your program provides you. The fact that it is a digital program probably means your school will spotlight ways to get more involved. I know my program offered a variety of regional meet-ups (some more convenient than others) to meet in person with fellow students and alum. Maybe there is a regional one near you that you could attend to meet fellow students and alum in person?

Dive into the resources provided, and if you don't find what you're looking for, definitely reach out to the available support staff within your program to help you find what you need (ie. counselors, program coordinators, alumni, etc.)


Second: get creative with classmate interactions. For example organize digital study groups on platforms like Google Hangouts and Skype to get know your classmates, network, and hear about what steps they are taking that may support you. Additionally, your professors/instructors may hold things like digital office hours. Attend these and ask question like "who should be reaching out to for__________".


Lastly: LinkedIn. Connect with as many folks from your program and associated with your program as you can on LinkedIn. Set up phone calls with them to ask questions and hear about their experiences. Reach out to folks related to your Master's focus who may be willing to provide some mentorship/introduce you to others that could support you. (Maybe start by asking instructors who they could connect you with to network in your field). LinkedIn was a tool that would have been really helpful during my experience so I recommend using it to the fullest!


Best of luck!


Bryant

Bryant recommends the following next steps:

  • Start connecting on LinkedIn with other students starting your Master's program
  • Connect on LinkedIn with an alumni of your Master's program and ask them how they were able to network (ask either through email or scheduling a phone call)
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Aditi’s Answer

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I completely agree with Bryant.

1. Try and utilize every resource provided by the program. Connect with all your professors, classmates, and alumni via LinkedIn and other social media platforms like facebook, twitter, etc.

2. Keep your social media profile updated with your current background and your interests.

3. Be active and engaged on social media platforms like LinkedIn. This enables you to stay tuned in with current trends, and also keep your profile active.
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