Aside from your studies, another important goal of higher ed is to meet people and make connections you can use for finding jobs, recommendation letters, or your own future employees! Here’s how to begin low-key networking in your community and start getting the most out of college for your professional life.
Leave an Impression on Others
As college students, you already know that when it comes time for grad school, scholarships, or any other number of applications, a strong reference can make all the difference. Make sure you stand out to TAs and professors in your field so you have people to write those letters on your behalf, and backups to those people! Start by asking questions in class, coming in to see your professors during office hours, and talking about their research interests.
Talk About Your Interests
Rather than just doing this with the profs, talk to your friends and classmates about your goals and hobbies. This is a great way to make new friends within your program, and bonding with them now will give you greater opportunities when they populate the professional world. You can also glean information about clubs, academic programs, and research opportunities you never knew existed!
Great job on making your connections! But if you stop working here, those connections will erode and you’ll have nothing to show years from now. After talking with a classmate, solidify the connection by sending them a friend request on Facebook, or better yet, LinkedIn. Now you have a record that you know each other, and can use that bridge to stay connected over social media!
Now you’re ready to network!