Being in school is quite an undertaking. As a student, you are responsible to attend class regularly, be alert in class (which requires a proper eight-hour sleep), and to do homework almost every night. Family, friends, and extracurriculars are also important to you, but you always manage to make it work.
As you near the end of your program you start thinking about the next step. Building your resume and cover letter, finding references, gaining on the job experience… it’s all essential to finding a job that suits your goals and desires. Unfortunately, many students tend to miss out on one step that’s vital to getting that dream job: networking.
Here are some of my best networking tips for while you’re still in school:
1. Get involved
Being involved with events at your school opens you up to establishing a relationship with other students in your field (who might have connections), your teachers (industry experts) and staff. Attending fundraisers and school events show everyone that you are serious about taking the next step in your life. This also makes attending networking-specific events easier in the future because you will already know other people going!
2. Utilize social media
We’ve covered the importance of social media as a part of networking already, but it’s really, really important! LinkedIn or Twitter can allow you to discuss industry-related topics with others who are interested as well as allow you to reach out to those who might be attending future networking events. If you’re worried about attending networking events solo, this is a great way to ensure you’ll have people to meet up with face-to-face.
3. (Actually) go to networking events!
The idea of attending large events with the intention of meeting industry-related experts is intimidating, I know. But as you get to know more people at your school and within your industry, you gain a type of support system for events like these. Having a support system can take some of the pressure off and make it easier to approach industry-workers. Go in pairs to talk to the big names and don’t be overbearing when engaging in conversation. You want to be remembered, but not for the wrong reasons!
Keeping the above advice in mind, remember that it’s also important to get involved earlier in your educational career rather than later. The more time you have to solidify your position within the industry before you have to start utilizing those connections the better!
Brighton College holds and attends various industry and community events all the time! Keep your eyes on our social media and blog for event updates and pictures!