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How do you make connections?

I am a high school senior and I am worried that when I get to college, I will not be able to make those connections to further my career goals. I know the question is pretty vague, but when I am in classes or I am attending a seminar, what is the best way for me to reach out to professionals so I can build that relationship?

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Joe’s Answer

Just like you did here...ASK

If you are in a class with other students who share your same career goals ask them questions regarding WHY they chose that path and WHO was important to them in making that decision. If you are at a seminar the same holds true...and the same questions can start the opening of doors to create relationships.

Important to remember...people love to tell their story. By listening you gain important information and by asking questions you gain more insight into your career choices.

If you find someone's story intriguing or their mentors seem like a good fit for you, ask for an introduction. This is how you grow your professional network.

Joe recommends the following next steps:

Look at the book Why Don't We Listen Better? Communicating & Connecting in Relationships by Jim Peterson
Volunteer based on the skills you seek. The people you meet who also volunteer are potential professional contacts

Joe- this is a terrific answer. Thank you so much for sharing your insights with Shakoor (and the thousands of other students who will read and benefit from your advice!). Keep up the great work:) Lindsey Manning-Djabbari BACKER

Joe, your advice is awesome and I agree with your insights! Thanks for sharing. Sheila Jordan

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Shana’s Answer

There are a lot of websites and associations that are designed to help you make connections. Depending on what you are studying, there could be professional associations that have networking events or online boards. Schools have good networking events as well.

It's never too early to start a Linked In profile --- this is the largest worldwide networking site right now and you can start making connections immediately with professors who might be there, other students and business contacts.

Attending events is the best way to network --- face to face and be sincere!