Career Planning

The Power of Networking: Tools for Your Student

It is never too soon for your student to understand and begin building their own networking system.  What is networking on a student level? How can it help them be a success now and in the future? This article explores the power of networking and how it can help your college student. 

When a student enters college for the first time they have their own ideas of networking, ideas not yet fully developed. “Networking,” for them,  might be loosely defined as making friends or developing relationships they already have in a casual way.

And while this idea of networking may have be a good start, it’s not enough for an adult world where networking is tied to more than just popularity or linked with family and trusted friends.

For the college experience, the power of networking lies with professors, alumni and most importantly through internships and experiences they can get in the outside world.  It’s good to tell your student to make sure to engage in activities that put them in the line of sight of their life and career goals.

Alumni

The power a school’s alumni have in the community is massive. Tapping into this forum is a solid key to finding work in the future.  A relationship with alumni can be used for references, letters of recommendations, internships and job referrals.

Honor Societies

It is recommended that if your student has high grades and they are invited to join a honor society to do so. Encourage your student to attend their functions, join in and become a leader of events, let them see what skills they possess and can recommend in letters of referral later.

Fraternities and Sororities

If your student is selecting a fraternity or sorority choose with care.  It’s a good thing to belong to a group that can help promote you later in life and create lifelong friendships.  However, it is not a good thing to join any organization that will eat all of your student’s time and leave nothing for education.

Have your son or daughter choose a group that promotes community awareness and community volunteering and actually follows through.  Those volunteer hours are vital later in the hiring process.

Professors

Furthermore, encourage your student to cultivate a relationship with their professors, who likely have a wealth of connections with successful school alumni.  If possible, encourage your student to take a class with the chairperson in the department of their chosen field. That chairperson has knowledge of grants and jobs in the city and your student wants to be the first one to pop in their minds.

When a student leaves college, they should leave with skills to perform in their field, a diploma in hand to prove it, and great references to stand by them as they enter the workforce.

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