Should I Start Networking While in College?

Carolina Jacobs

Jun 7, 2022

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The answer to the question is a resounding yes. Networking opens doors for you that you might not otherwise have known existed. Networking is a great way to get your foot in the door and put yourself out there. It’s not about “what” you know, right? It’s about “who” you know in most cases.

The Value of Networking

Networking is a means of communication and connection for job seekers and hirers. It’s a way for individuals to display their academic and professional achievements for prospective employers and career development.

Networking can also be done the old-fashioned way — by building connections with anyone who could lead to a mutually beneficial relationship.

A great place to network in college is a conference centered on a field you might be interested in. Getting out there and socializing with peers could also be considered networking. You might be surprised who you meet and where that relationship could potentially lead.

Start Early

It takes time to establish and develop relationships. If you start networking early, you can give these connections time to grow and evolve.

Start by creating a profile on LinkedIn. LinkedIn posts 77% of all job positions on their website and can assist you with career development. Your profile will allow you to connect with like-minded peers and even potential mentors. Once you graduate, you’ll already have a platform full of connections at your fingertips. The rest is up to you.

Find Internships

Internships are a great way to network in college. For one thing, they allow you to get real experience in a work environment in your chosen field. You might also realize it isn’t the right career path for you after all.

Of course, you could love the internship and want it to be your professional dream. If the latter applies to you, you’re lucky, since 80% of interns are offered a full-time position at their companies, with 56% saying yes to the jobs. Being an intern is a great way to test the waters before diving in headfirst after graduation.

Join Societies

Societies are an excellent way to get involved socially with your peers in college. It’s also a great way to network and form connections that could last well after graduation is over. More so, societies help you meet and make friends with people who have similar interests and maybe even the same major for their degree.

Think about befriending an upperclassman who could show you the ropes. They also might be able to tell you about real-world experiences when college is over for them if you’re thinking of entering the same field.

Societies are a staple in getting the ultimate college experience, but it doesn’t have to be fun and games. Many clubs or organizations have connections to businesses that could present future opportunities. Societies help you become part of a community. Use these connections to gain insight into your plan for the future.

Keep at It

Networks can be difficult to build at the last minute, so you are encouraged to start early. College life can be hectic and you can easily overlook networking. Don’t fret or get discouraged if you don’t see results right away.

Instead, build connections early so your network can grow and evolve with you as you go through college. Most of your peers are just as busy and chaotic as you are. Give it time and don’t give up.

Make the Most of Your Prime Networking Years

Networking is there for you to utilize, so why not use every advantage to achieve your goals? Otherwise, you’ll be graduating from college and have no idea where to begin your job search. Network and shoot for the moon in the career you choose.

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