The time spent by students in College also doubles up as the time you need to spend networking. Essentially college years are all about studies and striving towards academic excellence. However, these are also the formative years to build professional networks. These are the four formative years where you can kick start the activity of getting to know more and more people on the professional front. A smarter attitude while in college goes a long way in ensuring that students do not face too many difficulties while scouring through the job markets at a later stage. SMS College helps you discover a few tips for networking while in college.
- Take advantage of the College Placement Office. Your first go to place should your campus’ career services office. These cells/ departments in colleges are often set up to help their students with the task of resume building and connecting with the alumni. Being in constant touch with your college’s placement office is a great way to kick-start your career, as you’ve already begun by getting in touch the right people.
- Actively attend classes. Make sure your teachers and professors know you. Sit in the front rows. Participate actively in class discussions, projects and strive hard to score well in the tests. This way you ensure that you are in the eyes of the teachers teaching the subject, enabling you to establish a positive relationship with them. These professors can become valuable resources at a later stage in life and help you connect with relevant, well- placed people.
- Reach out to other faculty and staff. Do not hesitate in reaching out to teachers and other professors. If you feel that a teacher from another department might be able to help you with important career advice, then do not stop yourself in reaching out to them, talking to them and banking on their judgement.
- Activate a LinkedIn profile. A very effective way to connect with professionals in your areas of interest is to be sufficiently active on Linked. This is a professional networking site, where people and users strictly limit themselves to relevant professional discussions. LinkedIn is a great way to stay in touch with professional contacts, so make sure you make an active effort to keep your profile updated.
- Be in touch with College Alumni. People / students who have been out of the school for a few years also tend be very helpful. More often than not, they are able to relate well to the challenges and situations faced by students seeking advice on the career front.
- Ensure you attend ample networking events. If your college offers alumni networking events, make an effort to attend – and be serious about it. Dress the part, and carry a few resumes with you too, because you never know who you might encounter. Keep your eye out for profession-specific events or job fairs in your area, too.
- Take up an Internship and work hard at it. An internship ends up getting you a headway into the corporate world, giving you taste of what work life entails. It helps you connect with people for professional opportunities, as well as serving as a reference source in the future. So, take your internship seriously and do your best.
- Ask for an informational interview. Want to connect with someone at your internship, a professor, or even someone in your field that you admire? Request an informational interview to find out about what they do and how they got there. This can even take place via e-mail or on the phone. Either way, establishing contacts – and maintaining them – creates valuable connections when it comes time to launch your career.
- Connect with your dream company on social media. Do you dream of working for a specific company? Make a point to follow them on social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Instagram and Pinterest. Not only does this imply your interest in a future opportunity, but it’s a good way to keep track of job openings.
- Read well, research on the trends in the job markets to keep yourself well on track with stuff happening around yourself.
All the best !