How to Network Your Way to Reach Your Goals
This blog was written by Scarlett, our Mount Holyoke College Campus Ambassador. If you attend Mount Holyoke and would like to blog for us, comment below!
Networking! My favorite ten letter word! This summer I&ve actually gotten my networking skills into use at my internship. I am a strong believer in being goal oriented and what a better way to reach your goals than to network your way there!
Why should I Network?
Networking is important because it will connect you with many individuals that may be able to give you advice and tips that can help you along the way. One person can connect you with another person that can connect you with another person... you get the point and the end that person can become your mentor or a pivotal part of your career. People you network with can be able to refer you to people who have your similar interests or who can give you advice.
Who can I network with?
EVERYONE! With class mates, professors, staff and faculty in campus, professionals, family members and etc. You never know when someone can come in handy.
How do I network?
Well it&s simple! It just takes a little bit of courage and motivation.
1. Introduce yourself to everyone! A simple "Hi my name is Scarlett pleasure meeting you" will work and also remember shaking hands is the professional way to go. I suggest you practice with friends you would be surprised at the things your friends can tell you like squeeze a little less that can help you along the way.
2. Whenever you think it is appropriate, try to mention what school you go to and what you are studying. People tend to connect through interests.
3. Ask for business cards! Of course not too promptly remember to always be mindful we wouldn&t want to scare away our potential connections. But indeed business cards are great; they provide you with contact information. Also having business (contact) cards of your own that you can give out is great. You can have them with your name, number, E-mail, school and major.
4. Well now that you have their email let&s get it into use! Sending them an email after meeting them or having a discussion is great. Always try to send them an email of appreciation where you can thank them for their time, help, advice, connections, etc. Also remember to keep in touch with them, that is what keeps network strong. Sending them a simple hello once in a while with some updates on your life, or career always keeps the networking strong.
5. When someone introduces you to someone else remember to thank the one who introduced you. One thing I always suggest is to ask for informative interviews, informative interviews give you the chance of learning about the person and their career.
6. If you are in the social media light thats already a step ahead of networking one great site I suggest is linkedin.com You can create your professional site where you can connect with different individuals like colleagues, class mates and potential employers in a professional way. It is really cool because you can see how many people you network with and who is connected with who.
7. Lastly dont forget to have fun! Networking should be easy and fun it gives you the chance to meet new people and friends.
What other networking advice do you have?