5 Tips for Effective Networking In College
Despite the fancy name, networking is just communication between people that results in something useful for each - or at least for most of them. Making it effective is quite easy, and there are lots of ways to do it. We have chosen five tips that will come in handy no matter where you are and what is the theme of the networking. Let’s go!
1. Know why you are here
A ridiculously simple one, but worth mentioning in the first place. If you can clearly spell out the goal of joining networking, the things you are ready to do to get towards the goal, and the help you need to achieve it - you have already done almost all the preparation. You’ll easily find the people who are interested in the same thing or are searching for someone with your skills.
You should be able to say everything in roughly thirty seconds. In essence, networking is usually a noisy event where people are moving chaotically from one to another, listening to the lecturers, chilling out in a common space or discussing their projects somewhere in the corner. So you have not much time to make the first impression. Use this time wisely.
2. Don’t be shy to start talking first
Networking is about making new acquaintances too, not only about projects. If you know something that is relevant to the topic, feel free to share it, ask open-ended questions and listen to the others. You won’t necessarily start a project right now, but you may get a useful contact to work together later.
Also, don’t forget that you still can have fun! Social interactions develop your soft skills, get you new friends and just raise your endorphins level that provides you energy for anything else. Even if you won’t get anything really useful from the networking event, you’ll still get lots of good vibes and will have a good time.
3. Your online presence is also presence
Even at an offline event, your online presence still matters. In our modern world all the new acquaintances will check your page on all the major social networks. Your online image will be a part of the overall impression you make, so get ready for it. Hide the photos you don’t want to show anyone but friends. Check out some suspicious groups you once entered and forgot to leave. Just make sure that everything is fine.
If you feel like showing off, you may add some info about your proficiency in the area of networking. Some photos from the conferences or from getting certified will do. You don’t have to store them in your account constantly, but you may use them to make a much better impression on other people. Also, you can share useful websites that you use as a source, for example, you can add your college website or interesting topics of essays on different educational websites like https://procollegeessays.com/. Make your online profile not only attractive, but also helpful.
4. Stay in touch even after the event
What happens during the networking should continue elsewhere. Make new contacts, follow them up and keep in touch later. You never know when the right project pops up or when you decide to make a great party and invite lots of people. Remember that your network is just like your pet plant that will perish if you don’t water it and don’t look after it.
You can get unexpected offers from the people you saw half a year before. Maybe they just feel bored, or they have already graduated and need someone for their startup team. You don’t have to befriend them all or hang up with them, but a few contacts in a year is enough to keep the connection alive.
5. Keep networking
Even if you feel that the first event was a failure, give networking another chance! Maybe it was just poorly organized, maybe you haven’t found your people or was not in the mood to communicate. Maybe you didn’t have a clear vision of the project or couldn’t explain it to others. But one disappointing event doesn’t mean that the whole thing of networking doesn’t work for you.
Networking in college is great preparation for the similar events that await you after graduation. Networking events are a hidden job market, the place where informal connections make more than formal CVs and soft skills may turn the tables in your favor. Use this opportunity to learn and understand the principles of networking, use it for the real project and - who knows - maybe you’ll be a speaker on the next event, telling the audience the story of your success?Print this Article