You are a college student and you may be thinking about what you want to be in the future. It means that soon you’re ready to go to the real outside world. But you don’t know many people who will lead you to get a job you love. You know what… It’s never too early to start networking.
From this research show, the average American knows 600 people. You need to expand your connection and relationship outside of your circle of friends and your college. If you’re looking for a job or internship, there are so many opportunities outside but to get there you need to know them.
Build your mindset
Before you start to do anything, the most important thing is your mindset. You have to set your mind right. Make it clear to yourself you want to know more people because of what and you have to be aware of yourself, your age and your experience. Now it’s your time to get to know people and you will talk to them. Get to know them and especially if you know you’re an introvert. Set your mind to know that you will not give up on anything that might happen in a networking event or any of feeling you might have. This will be your first time and everything will not be as smooth as you dream it to be. Just keep making new friends, get to know more people and be positive.
Keep active about networking
You should start by staying informed about your local college clubs and start small in your college. Soon you will find yourself meeting more people outside of your group of friends. It’s a good place to start networking because you will become more comfortable since the students on campus are the same age as you. As a college student, it’s easier to find people interested in the same thing as you.
Friend / Teacher / Professor
You can start asking people around you, including your professor to be the ones who can introduce you to someone new. Do not be afraid to go to talk to your professor or to your friends about the topic you’re interested in. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a teacher you know or whom you took a class with. You might get some valuable advice or you might get an introduction to interesting people outside of your network.
Your goal is to make a friend
If your goal is to get a job to be careful don’t do a job search in the networking event. Now you don’t have a wide network. I suggest you focus on the fundamental first. That is, get to know more people. Focus on that and don’t worry about people you talk to. They don’t need interns of unavailable job positions at that moment. But they will keep you in mind and they will let you know when a job becomes available or when they need you.
Maybe you might have a chance to talk to the manager or owner of a well-known company in your town. Most people think they have a big title because they’re doing well in their career or because they can do anything and they’re good at everything. This is why they become a manager. But it’s not true. You just have to let them know your skills and your mindset. And offer to help if you have a chance. Managers may be good at management but they may not know about how social networking or how to get Instagram followers. So offer help first, don’t just ask for a job.
Prepare your profile
While networking with people, the traditional way is to give your business card so people can reach you when they need to. But at this time people don’t just ask for a phone number anymore. People want your e-mail address, your Facebook, Twitter or Instagram account and they even might ask about your portfolio website. You should be prepared for this. If you don’t have a business card because you think it’s too serious because you’re a college student or can be any reason you don’t have a business card. This can be good solution for you, squiqr.com offers a free digital business card.
And last but not least. Imagine if someone you want to get a job from them looks at your profile, it will not be good a good impression if they see pictures of you dancing on the table with many shots of tequila. So be careful and be professional.
Networking is an investment, there will be a lot of benefits when you have to expand your network for the future. And you never know, maybe you’ll make a lot of new good lifelong friends. Start with small groups in your college and keep asking people about the person you want to meet. And don’t forget, the important thing is that a networking event is not a sales exhibition. Offering help and being honest are keys to building a relationship and extending your network.