Before the profesh and oh so serious title scares you away, let me tell you how you are already doing it in your daily life. Hanging out with a bunch of friends or making new friends at unexpected places or having a healthy relationship with your professors, all of it counts as networking as well!
But we are here to give you some cues on how to make your networking game better. So make sure you read it till the end!
What is student networking?
So, imagine if you are a wannabe influencer, connecting with other influencers in your college, having good relationships with people working for your college magazine, being in touch with brand agencies and photographers in your college all counts as networking!
Networking is especially important to students because ‘who you are can get you into the room but who you know can always get a seat at the table!’
If you want to embark on a successful career, networking is one of the essential elements. From enhancing your dream job prospects to landing you an amazing internship, networking can work wonders in your life.
If you feel like you are a know-it-all when it comes to networking, then you are wrong! Grad.Club is here with tips that can make even the busiest social butterfly a ton better!
The ground rules
Strategize – blindly going about connecting with everyone won’t fetch you anything! Focus on when and where you can meet a lot of people that could help you out with your passion. Say you are a musician, go to concerts and parties where you can meet some record producers and musicians instead of going to the museum.
Bring up mutual interests – Do not talk about things that are not interesting to the other person. Bring up what both of you like and talk about it. Later, you can steer the conversation towards new things.
Stay in touch – Once you get a connect, do not ignore and hit them up out of the blue with a “Hey! Can you do me this favor!”. Put yourself in the shoes of the other person. Feels awkward right? So make sure you make small talk and stay in touch regularly.
Take it slow – Do not expect to have an amazing connection over the night and favours to flow in from the next day. Slowly build a genuine and trustworthy connection over time.
Follow proper etiquette – Do not hit up anyone with “Hey bruh! Wassup” on day one, approach someone properly and slowly. Start being informal only as the connection progresses.
- Do not be over-friendly, it might seem a bit off to be like that in the beginning
- Do not get too personal or emotional on the first meeting! Just like we said, take it slow!
- Do not cross talk when the other person is talking. It might seem rude. Instead, disagree politely.
- And finally, if you do not feel comfortable with a person, do not continue the connection, it’s totally fine to end it in such cases.
If you abide by the above guide, you should be good enough! But if you are completely new to this stuff and want to learn, fret not!
How to start (for introverts)
Be comfortable and start off with someone you know, approach a friend or professor you’ve known for a while and strike up a conversation.
If you don’t feel comfortable after a certain amount of time at an event or a conference, please take leave so that you don’t exhaust yourself and completely get sick of networking for the rest of your life!
If you are the type to talk less, use it to your advantage and listen a lot, talking only when necessary. I mean who doesn’t love an attentive ear!
What to expect?
These connections can open new doors for you in your chosen field and they might even teach you the tricks of the trade!
You are likely to be more open-minded and dynamic after meeting so many new people and connecting with them. This helps you address a wide set of people and concerns effectively in the future.
They might recommend you at several places, say an internship or a freelancing job or more.
If you maintain some good connections, they are likely to become good friends of yours over time. And in times of need, they can understand you better than anyone else because they know what the situation exactly feels like!
But on the other hand, there are some things that you should not expect!
- Do not expect miracles to happen overnight, be patient and try to build a genuine connection.
- Do not expect favours to flow in the next day you’ve met, it takes time and patience. Also, you cannot expect everyone in your circle to be helpful all the time!
- And finally do not expect the connections to fetch you something. Instead, form these connections as a long term thing and not just to receive short-term favours.
What to give?
Remember that ‘give and take always make a fair play’, be willing to help someone or contribute in some way.
Give advice when you think they are heading in the wrong direction or got something wrong. Essentially have their back.
Recommend them at places if you think they are capable enough and open new doors for them.
All in all, networking is a game of push and pull, which of course won’t ever let you down! Stay at the top of your game with the exclusive information from Grad.Club and recommend it to your friends who want to get started with student networking too! Meanwhile, we will come up with more awesome stuff to help you out! So what are you waiting for? Recommend us to your friends and make the place all the more fun- filled!