In college, you’ll learn the academic basics of a certain industry, but most of your learning will happen on the field. In order to get to that point, though, you’ll need to do a heavy dose of networking. Sure, you’ll need your degree, but networking will help you get your foot in the door. A lot of industries are very competitive. However, the more people you meet, the closer you’ll get to that one person who will help you clinch your dream job or that ultimate deal. The latter is especially important if you want to start your own business. Fortunately, there are a lot of ways to network in college – you just need a few pointers. Here are five important networking tips for college students.
- Go to Networking Events
There is a good chance that your community, or even college, has networking events where you can exchange business cards or talk about your ambitions. If you can’t find any networking events, you may want to get invited to launch parties and other events, which you can then turn into your own networking experiences.
- Talk to People
The truth of the matter is that just talking to people, asking questions and being curious could lead you to the most important person in your life. You would be surprised by how many chance encounters turned into jobs or dream ventures. If you have trouble talking to people, you may want to find a way to boost your confidence. The more you talk to people, the easier it will be, but you want to start sooner than later. If you are crippling shy, it is even more important to start earlier in your college career.
- Speak to Your Professor
When it comes down to it, your professor can actually be a great ally as far as networking is concerned. Your professor may know the right people – in the right industry. Even if you are taking PSU online courses, you may be able to email your professor about potential job prospects in the industry that you are getting a degree in. If your professor doesn’t know anyone, maybe he or she will point you in the appropriate direction.
- Visit Conferences
All around the country, and even the world, there are various conferences where people in a certain industry congregate and talk about their line of work. If you are in the fashion world, you may want to go to a trade show to meet with other designers, buyers and more. Just being there will give you a buzz and it may inspire you. More than anything, you’ll take home a heap of business cards.
- Use Networking Apps
On top of everything, you may want to think of using networking apps on your phone. Some of these apps allow you the opportunity to upload your resume and connect with potential employers. If you are just getting out of college, this can be extremely beneficial and convenient. In the end, you don’t want to rely on these apps entirely, but they could become a healthy part of your job-hunting diet.