Networking in College

I know it's summertime and most of want to put college out of our minds for a few months... but honestly this is when I have the time to produce content, and this is a post I've been wanting to write all semester. One of the most important things you'll do in college is network. You're probably already gaining important connections without even realizing it.

// Make connections in your classes
Most of your peers are going to be in your classes until you graduate, especially when you get beyond the general education requirements. When doing group projects, make sure you contribute equally. You never know when one of those group members could be a reference at a potential employer. In my public relations class this semester, our professor had several previous students come in to talk about their careers and most of them mentioned peers that they now work with.

// Seek out Mentors
Talk to your professors outside of class, and get to know your academic adviser. Let them know what you are interested in and what you want to do after college. Connect with organization advisers as well - this is where I've gotten most of my recommendation letters! You never know who they'll know, or where they can help you get your foot in the door. Be intentional about finding a mentor, and don't be afraid ask questions.

// Utilize LinkedIn
I could probably write a whole blog post about LinkedIn, and I didn't even make my profile until this year. You can expand your network so much on this platform, and see professional content. Get your account set up, and put all of your experience on there! A lot of employers look at LinkedIn and may not consider you if you don't have a quality profile.

// Get Involved on Campus
Join organizations that interest you and find something that pertains to your major. Go beyond a sorority, and get to know other students. Not only will you gain leadership experience and communication skills, but you will also learn how to work with people. These people are going to be key in the near future, as you are probably interested in similar things.

// Attend Professional Events
I'm not just talking about career fairs. If you have the opportunity to go to a conference or convention, take it! So far, I've been to my sorority's regional conference, AFLV (Association of Fraternal Leadership and Values) with Panhellenic, and ACUI (Association of College Unions International) for programming. These events give you the chance to meet people doing similar things at other universities and network with professionals in your field.

// Write Thank You Notes
A simple note can have a big impact on someone, and it makes you more memorable. You can write a thank you to someone literally anytime they do something for you, and it means a lot to most people to have something handwritten. These notes don't have to be super fancy, you can get a ton of different little cards at Target for $1-3.

Check out more college advice here, and comment below any networking tips you have for students!

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