You’ve probably heard before that to make it in the professional world, it’s not always about what you know, but who you know. Making connections is important in today’s job market. But how can you make these connections when you’re still in school? It’s not as hard as you might think. Check out these tips on how you can network, even as a busy college student!
Just about every college has at least one career fair each semester, and you don’t have to be on the cusp of graduation to attend. Right at the tips of your fingers, on your own college campus, you have the chance to meet your future employers. Stop by the tables you’re interested in, introduce yourself, and try to make a solid impression. Once you have their contact information, you can start building a relationship by sending them an email within 48 hours thanking them for their time, and asking some follow up questions. They might answer the questions themselves, or they might direct you to someone else who can further help you. The more correspondence you have, the better your connection will be! This can be the doorway to a job, an internship, or just some professional advice!
Meetings with Alumni
Colleges keep meticulous track of their alumni. Often times, schools have records open to their students with information regarding who graduated with what major, where they’re living, what they’re doing today, and how you can contact them. This is a goldmine of connections! Find a few people in your area who graduated a few years ago, or perhaps many years ago, with a career you would love to have! While sending them an email or giving them a call may seem a bit scary, chances are, they’ll be more flattered than anything! Who wouldn’t want to grab a cup of coffee with someone who admires what they do?
Internships and Summer Jobs
If you’re lucky enough to score an internship or a summer job that relates to your field, get to know as many people as you can, as well as you can. Make a good impression. Ask a lot of questions. Demonstrate your knowledge and interest for your field. When your summer or internship ends, make sure that you keep in touch. Even if you decide that where you worked or interned isn’t exactly what you want to do, these people might have the ability to point you in the direction of where you want to go!
Don’t forget that you can also make connections completely on your own without having to attend a fair or land an internship. If there’s a company you’re just dying to work for someday, send someone from that company an email. If there’s a person you greatly admire for their achievements, take it upon yourself to make contact with them. It’s truly that easy! Even if you don’t hear back, the possibility of starting a relationship that could get you a dream job is a risk worth taking!