Networking on a small campus
This guest post comes from our Intern Queen Campus Ambassador Caitlin Quindlen who attends Belmont Univeristy. She is majoring in Public Relations and Music Business.
There are tons of big name schools out there, most of which have well over upwards of 15,000 students.
However, not everyone ends up going to such a big school, and while there are advantages of going to
a school with so many students as far as networking goes, there are ways to do so when you are at a
school with only a couple thousand students. Personally, at my school, I’ve learned that even with the
total amount of undergrads measuring up to 5,000 there are ways to expand and meet as many people
as possible, and sometimes being in a small school works in your favor, you just have to figure out how
to foster it. Some of the ways I’ve learned include:
1. Get involved with student activities: Now, I know you’ve probably heard this first tip so many
times now you are rolling your eyes. However, this is honestly especially important. Make sure
it’s relevant to your major so you can meet other people that are working towards the same
goal. I’m involved in two student groups at my school that I dedicate time to, and it’s been a
great resource for exchanging information about jobs and internships. Also, if you’re at a small
school, it’s easier to be known and get a leadership position, which will show on your resume
that you take the initiative to push yourself a step further.
2. Take advantage of your professors: This can truly be amazing when you’re struggling for
sources to expand. Normally, at a smaller school, you have smaller classes which means you
can take advantage of the fact that your professors will get to know you if you reach out. Learn
about them, and their past jobs as well to make sure you have advice from someone with actual
experience if you ever need it. This has been the greatest tool to me thus far, one of my Public
Relations professors actually has asked me the exact type of internship I would want next year
and in what environment, so if a company that she thinks is a good fit contacts her, I can get the
word on it as a match first.
3. Get in touch with Alumni: You may see the same faces at your school every day, but never
forget the amount of people that walked that campus before you, and are now successful.
Reach out to Alumni from your school, because they were once in your position and are usually
overly willing to help out. This also lets you make real world connections with someone in your
profession, and if you are shy about getting that internship, you may be able to snag one at the
office they work making the situation a tad bit more comfortable.
4. Reach out to Outside sources: When you feel you may have exhausted your resources, always
reach out to outside communities. Your friends from home go to other schools, and think of
that as entire new networks to conquer. Use social networking to your advantage and meet
new people with the same interests. I’m in public relations so using the PRSSA Twitter chats has
allowed me to find tons of other students in my major, see if your groups do anything similar.
If you have any additional tips, questions or comments for me, feel free to leave a comment