Kaylee and I can’t believe we are over half way through our college careers. As a business school student, we get told to network from the second we set foot on campus. Networking is one of those things people always talk about but don’t really break it down. We wanted to demystify some of that for y’all.
What is networking?
Networking isn’t always being forced to make awkward small talk with stuffy old recruiters. Networking can be going out to dinner with your friends or someone new. That random guy your friend brings a lot to dinner might the person interviewing you in a few years. You never know! Networking is actually a part of everything you do. Going to class, meeting a guy at a bar, and helping someone at the grocery store is all grocery.
Who is in your network?
Everyone is in your network. Every person you could of possibly think of is in your network. I mean this genuinely. Think of your core group. Think of your immediate family and what they do. Then, expand this group to your larger extended family and what they do. Then, think of your friends and their parents. If you can on zooming back, without doing any “networking” you already have a network. Over your college career, you’ll meet professors, peers, speakers, and professionals that will all be a part of your network.
Why is your network important?
Over your lifetime, you’re going to meet many amazing people. People genuinely want to help other people that they like. Creating your network is basically building a foundation for your dreams. It’s much easier and faster to walk with a tailwind instead of a headwind. Your network will help you now and in the future, so choose the people you surround yourself by well!
How do you grow your network?
Go out and meet people! Yes that’s really it. Take advantage of networking opportunities and career fairs held at your college or university. Even as a freshman, go and meet people, and maybe your junior year, you can take advantage of those connections to find an internship or job! You shouldn’t be scared. Take a friend and go meet recruiters. Honestly, they just want to get to know you so let your personality shine.