“an association of individuals having a common interest, formed to provide mutual assistance,
helpful information, or the like: a network of recent college graduates” (one of several definitions for Network
found in Dictionary.com)
Networking really does improve the odds you may land a job. As a student you do have whether you believe it or not a great foundation and beginning grounds of a network. But, we hear during on and off campus career conversations and meetings, students commenting they have no network. Is that true? We don’t think so…
Where is your network ? How to find it? How to develop it?
For starters, look around you , on and off campus, your college provides you a rich resource and ready made network.
Your classmates: Find out what they are doing, what they are thinking. Connect with them. At one meeting, a student that had found a nice internship was talking about her upcoming internship. Another student participant asked her how she ever managed to land such a plum summer internship, she told her exactly how she found the position. The sharing of information, the how to’s … your peer group can be huge help and an essential part of your network.
Faculty : Find out what they are working on, discuss what you are interested in. ASK questions! They may be able to add some further insight and even connect you to one of their former students now working in your area of interest. They may also know of open positions. Many faculty members want to assist and guide. It’s why they chose their profession.
Career Office : Go visit your career office. Don’t wait , get familiar with their resources, the staff. They are there to help you. That is their job.
Alumni: Many are motivated to help their fellow school mates discuss career ideas, share information about their field, maybe even have identify a job opening that they would like to see go to a qualified individual from their alma mater
In all the above instances, ask if there is anyone else you can talk to. Grow the network. See where it takes you. But also be realistic. It’s not a slam dunk, sure fire opportunity to a job offer. It’s a way to gather information and learn about careers, industries, options. Sometimes, you get lucky and may find yourself being offered an interview spot, and even better, a job offer. But start with the first step, networking isWORK and it takes practive. And hink of it like a NET , you where you are weaving and connecting to people and information creating a great resource and sounding board .
In computer terms, a network , according to wikipedia, is a collection of computers and other hardware components interconnected by communication channels that allow sharing of resources and information. Where at least one process in one device is able to send/receive data to/from at least one process residing in a remote device, then the two devices are said to be in a network. Simply, more than one computer interconnected through a communication medium for information interchange is called a computer network. And like computer networks, your network is a process, interconnecting, through communication for information, to many individuals who can share their knowledge and experiences with you.
So, start now! It’s never too soon but also definitely never too late. Boot up, Refresh, Ramp up your network! At school, At home, all around you is YOUR NETWORK. You only need to activate it!
www.zoomdojo.com (under construction) a college to careers resource,network and community