Networking with students and professors is a must for students. Not just for attaining success in classes, but for finding success as a professional. As an undergrad, networking with other students can help a student locate resources on campus that provide academic support (tutors, academic advisement, etc.). Such a network could also lead students to clubs and organizations related to a student’s major. Finally, networking with fellow students could help a student find jobs during breaks to help pay expenses.
Networking with professors, meanwhile, can help students find classes appropriate to her/his short-term and long-term career goals. Additionally, professors can direct students to part-ime and full-time job opportunities that will provide experience related to a student’s long-term goals. Great experience that will also help a student compete for jobs right after college.
These networks will also become critical after graduation. When applying for jobs and/or grad school, having a solid network in place can direct a student to worthwhile job opportunities as well as graduate schools/programs that are worth the time/price. Additionally, people in a student’s network could provide direction to and recommendations for jobs, something everyone eventually needs. How do you begin to network? Here’s a way to start:
1) Talk with and get to know students within your major. Ask them for direction on good organizations to join and/or professors who will take time to give advice to students. The students you network with in college may be the business owners that hire you or help you find a job after graduation 5 or 10 years down the line.
2) Ask professors what classes are good to take for free electives (courses that will be beneficial in your career, but not necessarily required for your degree). This is especially important to do when selecting free electives or major electives.