Network Your Way There!
Back in high school, I thought that the chances I would run into my peers after graduating were very low, but I knew it was possible. However, now that I am in my third year of college, I have realized that the likelihood of bumping into people I know whether that is in a professional or social setting is relatively high. Realizing this, my opinion on networking shifted, and I started to see how valuable networking is. In a highly populated and competitive city such as Silicon Valley, networking plays an important role in advancing in your career.
Networking is an important part of personal and professional development and does not have to be difficult!
Photo courtesy of Christina from Unsplash.
At all colleges and universities, the student body is well diversed with people from different backgrounds, journeys in life, and visions for their future. Teachers always tell you to network with your classmates, peers, friends, etc., but it's hard to navigate if you are never taught the purpose or how to go about networking.
College can be a very busy time, however, that does not mean that networking is impossible. Here are a few convenient and effective opportunities for students to take advantage of:
In your classes:
People you sit next to or work with for group projects is a great opportunity to expand your network. These are people you sit next to for an entire semester, work, and build a bond with.
School clubs and organizations:
Join a club or organization on campus and get involved! This is a great way to not only boost your skills, but to network with others. If there is a workshop with speakers, add the speakers on LinkedIn and send them a personalized message to build that connection!
Social platforms such as LinkedIn:
Another great place to build your network circle is by going on LinkedIn and connecting with old high school friends, current college friends, co-workers, etc. This can help expand your network specifically in the professional setting and is convenient.
From my experience, having connections has benefited me in various ways, including gaining new knowledge, job and shadowing offers, and building my network circle. Regardless of the strategy you use to network, it is always important to leave a good, lasting impression. Having the skills, the growth mindset, and the drive is important, but think of networking as the icing on the cake! To help start your networking journey, get your free HiWave sticker at hiwave.co to network with a simple tap!