While earning your degree is likely the main objective when you’re going to college, it’s important to start networking as soon as you can. Making an effort to do this can assist with getting referrals, open up possible job opportunities and help when you need advice. However, networking can be more challenging when a situation such as this strikes. In this type of environment, it’s best to utilize the latest technologies and the internet when you want to network and stay connected.
Networking in College Can Be Beneficial
Taking the time to create professional relationships with professors or other students on your college campus can be highly beneficial when you take the time to do it. You never know when you might meet someone who has a possible referral or job opportunity available. Networking can also be advantageous when you gather with other students to help with a project or set up an online event.
If you’ve never attempted to network, it’s an excellent skill to build. You can use it right now and after you’ve become employed in the future. Like any new endeavor, it may take some trial and error before you start to create strong relationships with other like-minded students. Learning from any mistakes you make is the best way to build confidence and know the steps you need to take in the future.
Using Alternative Ways to Network During this Time
Traditionally, you would probably meet in person with other students or professors if you’re trying to network. Creating this type of gathering can be difficult during this time when everyone is staying away from each other in self-isolation. Fortunately, technology has advanced to the point where reaching out to classmates and collaborating with them in the virtual world is more accessible and efficient. You can leverage virtual meetings or social media to accomplish this best.
Get Involved in Other Opportunities
Staying at home during these times doesn’t mean you just have to sit around and do nothing. Several colleges are offering other opportunities to connect and get involved in new ways. You may want to spend this time taking alternate online courses, visiting online exhibits or listening to speakers who interest you Ascent Student Loans recent covered this topic in a blog post, and recommends you take this time to “sharpen your skills by making connections with others on professional platforms like LinkedIn, and clean up your social media too.”
Once you start looking, you will likely find organizations and societies at your college that are gathering online to discuss the latest topics.
Continue to Stay in Touch With Your Friends
Staying connected is important not only for networking but to keep your mood positive. Whether you’re using social media or communicating via text messages, it’s essential to stay in touch with your friends. Interacting with other individuals who you have something in common with can make you happy and content. There are endless possibilities to just say hello by using your phone or video chat.
If you’ve previously talked with a professor or fellow student about a project or topic you both found interesting, now is a great time to reconnect with them and have a conversation. Following up can set yourself apart from other individuals and help build up more contacts in your network.
Sign Up for LinkedIn and Begin Connecting
If you haven’t already signed up for LinkedIn, take this opportunity to join the community. You’ll be able to discover other individuals who have already started working in areas you might be interested in exploring. Connecting with them may provide you with job opportunities or a mentor you can contact if you have any questions.
Taking the time to network during this time may turn out to be highly beneficial. You never know the doors that might be opened when you reach out and connect with others.