Blogger: Angie Wong
Networking is key. When I started college, I convinced myself I didn’t have to make new friends or talk to anyone else because I already knew so many people here. However, my group of friends was always changing. In addition, I found a student organization that I enjoyed participating in. Initially, when the officers in the student organization stressed how much networking could help a student, I was hesitant. I did not like the idea because I was comfortable in my little “box” and feared putting myself out there. As I progressed in my college education, I had friends who started pushing me to talk to professionals. Not only did I start making connections with professionals, but I also made new friends.
Networking in college can benefit you in many ways. For example, the more you speak with professionals, the more confident you become in speaking with other peers and other professionals. You will gain the confidence you will need when you graduate and start working full time anywhere. It may seem intimidating at first, but the more practice you get and the more people you talk to, the more confident and comfortable you will be.
Another way networking is beneficial is that you create these connections that you may continue to speak to throughout your career. They may come to your aid later in your career; for example, if you are looking for a new job, looking to connect a colleague to a specific company, field, or position, or if you want to learn more about other professions. These connections you create may also become close friends you keep in touch with in the future.
What is the first step you should take to start networking? You could join a student organization that allows you to make different connections, from your peers to professionals. This will give you the practice to become more comfortable with speaking to others.