Any college student who hopes and plans to make it big in their career cannot ignore the powerful art of networking. This realization gets stronger once you step out of college into the world of work.
To stay ahead of the competition pack, it is important for one to start working on their networking skills early enough. This will help the students enrich their ambitious career journeys.
By taking a proactive step into the world of networking, a college student realizes the power of not only what they know but also whom they know. This is a great combination that can open doors of otherwise less seen opportunities.
The following seven hacks will be of great value to any aspiring and ambitious college student whose eyes are set for career success in the outside world.
1. Get Out of the Bubble
we all enjoy staying in our areas of comfort be it at work or just normal life. As a student you will realise you have this bubble of comfort around you in the name of the academic family with people who have similar interests and study paths.
Whilst they are useful to your college journey, they will rarely offer insights beyond the academia world.
The truth is very few students end up working in the same colleges they studied. To brighten your path after college, you should take a bold step and go out of your known comfort zone to meet other people with different interests who will help you see life in different light.
2. Attend Networking Events
I do not necessarily mean those formal sessions full of professionals in dark suits and ties with their business cards at the ready. These events are being phased out anyway, in favour of a more informal approach.
Networking can be any event where you meet new people and need to interact with them; you never know when you might meet someone.
3. Do Research About People You Are in Contact With
The hallmark of any serious student is the depth of their research skills and ability.
While you spend so much time researching on your school project, take some time as well to research about the people you interact with or have met in different forums.
This research will give you a better understanding of who this individuals are and help you structure yourself on how you will connect productively with them when you meet.
The internet world has made it possible to know so much about nearly everyone.
4. Connect on Social Media
LinkedIn should be every college students’ go to place. Spend some good time there to understand the career world and to connect with the right people in your field of interest. Use LinkedIn to forge great business and work connections.
Twitter can be a useful tool for interacting with the business as a whole, or for keeping up with their work, while Facebook is useful for more in-depth interactions. Instagram is also becoming more and more popular, so it is best to keep an eye on that too.
Remain professional in your interaction and take great care of your social media content. It speaks volumes about you to others and directly affects the quality of your interaction.
5. Actively Engage with the Campus
Make your presence and abilities get known while in campus. Instead of simply sitting mutely and allowing the class to continue around you, get involved! Ask questions and take part in debates; it is a good way to have people notice you, and to show your knowledge on any given subject.
In addition to that, try to be involved in the campus itself, by joining groups and societies.
6. Talk to Recent Graduates
This is one of the most important parts of networking for students: talk to recent graduates to find out about work prospects, how they have used their degree, what jobs they have found their degree useful in, and so much more.
Talking to recent graduates can also allow you to make connections which may be useful in the future upon your graduation.
7. Do an Internship
Internships can be difficult in the current climate, because they rarely pay. But they are still extremely useful for a student who is thinking about a particular career path outside of his/her education.
Having an internship will allow you to see if the career path you are thinking of is actually the right one, while also giving you some valuable experience to offer to companies once you leave college.
In addition, internships sometimes offer the promise of a job at the end, giving college students even more potential experience to go on.
Early networking activities by college students could turn out to be a very powerful tool and wise move in ensuring they have a great career early in their lives as soon as they leave college.