Networking is something that we hear a lot about these days. Unfortunately, the importance of networking isn’t usually discussed in the classroom or university. As a result of this, after graduating one of the main questions on a lot os student’s minds is, ‘What exactly is networking and why is it so important?’ We have made a list of the four best ways to network as a student to help you start forming relationships to get you started along your career journey.
What Is Networking?
Networking is meeting and forming relationships with other people in your field of business. More specifically, it is used to create opportunities for yourself in your chosen profession after leaving university.
Why Is Networking So Important?
In today’s world networking has become extremely important as it can lead to more career opportunities and might even further your professional status.
Networking often involves forming relationships with people within your field of work or who are working within a similar profession to you. This means that you might even find out about career opportunities through networking and building these relationships.
This may seem daunting to students and recent graduates who have never practiced networking or building relationships outside of university. But not to worry, we have created a list of the four best ways to network as a student during your time at university to develop your relationship building skills.
Four Ways To Network As A Student
LinkedIn is a great way of reaching out and connecting with people who work within your field of study. It is one of the main sites that people use to expand their network and can also be used as an online CV for people to promote their work experience and skills they have developed long the way.
This is a great way of connecting with people who have similar career backgrounds to you, and you can also send them direct messages to ask for advice or even a chat about how they got into their current positions.
LinkedIn can also be used as a careers tool, where you can search for jobs within your field and find out the latest news about which companies are hiring or of any career opportunities that might be coming up.
2. Work Placements
Throughout school and university, you are given the opportunity to attend work placements to get an insight into what your chosen career really looks like. These placements can also be used as a form of networking as you are connecting with people who work within the field you have an interest in. It is important to work hard during these placements and show off your skills as it could lead to a potential career opportunity in the future.
3. Attend Networking Events
Throughout your town or city there are a range of networking events hosted by local businesses that you might not not know about. Websites such as Eventbrite or Meetup can keep you up to date with business events that are taking place near you.
At these events you can learn new skills and also connect with people who work within your profession. Before attending, it is important to recognise what you would like to achieve through these events, have a list of questions prepared, and take the names of the people who chat with so you can connect with them on LinkedIn.
4. Visit Your Careers Centre
The careers centre at your university is a free resource where you can chat about upcoming internships or job opportunities within your campus, get interview tips and learn about ways you can update your CV with new skills and work experience. This is also a great way of finding out what networking opportunities are taking place within your university and building relationships with your alumni.
It is safe to say that networking isn’t that scary after all and it is not only for working professionals. There are many ways you can network at university, including mixing with your fellow students and alumni, volunteering, and attending work placement through your course.
You can use our networking tips to start building relationships and develop your skills. Let’s get out there and network!