Networking is something which students should get into the habit of doing as soon as possible; It’s only going to become more important as you move out into the wide world.

While students may not see the need for it while you remain in the grip of academia; networking is a skill that should be taken up as soon as possible for a variety of reasons.

Being able to introduce yourself to people through networking is something that might help your future career, or enable yourself to help others. Therefore, building your network further than before.

Having connections before you leave higher education, in the field in which you want to work, is something which can be helpful down the line. Having someone to say a good word for you can be beneficial.

What is networking?

Networking isn’t merely the exchange of information with others — and it’s certainly not about begging for favors. Networking is about establishing and nurturing long-term, mutually beneficial relationships with the people you meet, whether you’re waiting to order your morning coffee, participating in an intramural sports league, or attending a work conference. You don’t have to join several professional associations and attend every networking event that comes your way in order to be a successful networker. In fact, if you take your eyes off your smartphone when you’re out in public, you’ll see that networking opportunities are all around you every day.

Here are a few networking hacks:

1. Get Out of the Bubble

When you are a student, it is very easy to simply stay in your educational bubble with people who have similar interests and study paths. You will always have someone to talk to, after all.

But remember that what you study at university may not be what you’ll end up working as. So it is best to widen your gaze and meet people with different interests.

2. Attend Networking Events

Being visible and getting noticed is a benefit of networking that’s essential in career building. Regularly attending professional and social events will help to get your face known. You can then help to build your reputation as being knowledgeable, reliable and supportive by offering useful information or tips to people who need it.

Networking can be at any event where you meet new people and need to interact with them; you never know when you might meet someone important.

3. Get access to job opportunities

Expanding your contacts can open doors to new opportunities for business, career advancement, personal growth, or simply new knowledge. Active networking helps to keep you top of mind when opportunities such as job openings arise and increases your likelihood of receiving introductions to potentially relevant people or even a referral.

4. Expands Your Support Network

Another benefit of networking is that it helps you build a support network that is designed to assist you at every stage of your career. For example, let’s say that you are interviewing for a particular job or company; in an open network, there will always be someone who has gone through the same process in the recent past, which means that they can give you the necessary advice and tips on how to conduct yourself and what to expect.

5. Actively Engage with the Campus

Instead of simply sitting mutely and allowing the class to continue around you, get involved! Ask questions and take part in debates; it is a good way to have people notice you and to show your knowledge on any given subject.

In addition to that, try to be involved in the campus itself, by joining groups and societies.

6. Talk to Recent Graduates

This is one of the most important parts of networking for students: talk to recent graduates to find out about work prospects, how they have used their degree, what jobs they have found their degree useful in, and so much more.

Talking to recent graduates can also allow you to make connections which may be useful in the future when you yourself have graduated.

7. Do an Internship

Internships can be difficult in the current climate because they don’t pay. But they are still extremely useful for students who are thinking about a particular career path outside of their education.

Having an internship will allow students to see if the career path they were thinking of is actually for them, while also giving them some valuable experience to offer to companies once they leave education.

In addition, internships sometimes offer the promise of a job at the end, giving students even more potential experience to go on.

For more on networking

  1. The importance of networking
  2. The importance of networking and how to master it
  3. 10 Reasons Why Networking Is Essential For Your Career
  4. How Leaders Create and Use Networks
  5. The Advantages of Networking [PDF]
  6. Learn to Love Networking