As a university going student, there are certain skills that are essential to determine how successful you will be. We will discuss perhaps the most important one in the next few paragraphs.
Establishing a Network of Professional Connections
The next step after graduating from a university is stepping into professional life and for that, you need to develop a professional network of people who will help you advance further. In the starting years of university life and even later on, this can be quite challenging.
Stepping into a room full of strangers and being sociable with them, approaching an established professional working in the corporate world can seem like being thrown into the deep end of a swimming pool. You may get feelings of awkwardness and shyness on your approach but it is very important to overcome them for the sake of your success later on.
What does networking entail?
· Doing your research and identifying the relevant person at a conference that may become your future employer or even a collaborator in a business proposition.
· Starting your own network of professionals, especially if you are pursuing a very high level of education such as a PhD. It is essential to ask your supervisor or principal investigator if they can share some of their contacts with you.
· Visit websites that are pertinent to you instead of browsing aimlessly on the internet. Make yourself visible on the market as a potential candidate worthy of hiring. The worthy of hiring part comes later in the university years. Facebook is not the only social networking website out there; LinkedIn is a much worthier website that keeps you away from distractions as well. As your list of contacts grows, you can ask them about employment opportunities during the course of your studies. This will allow you to apply your knowledge in the real world. Additionally, your skillset will continually grow instead of stagnating at a particular level.
· If your university is regular in holding events and conferences, take advantage of the opportunity. Identify the right conferences and platforms where you can learn from and meet your future employers and/or collaborators. Maybe you have some idea just waiting to be heard and executed. This is how internship and placement opportunities come up and allow you to develop a worthy vision for your future.
· Search for similar events outside of your university which will help you with your career in the future. Pay if you need to pay for it, but attend it for priceless networking opportunities. We don’t advise this, but if you’re keen on bunking classes, do it for something positive. Bunk to go to a conference which can help you change the course of your life.
· When at such conferences and meetings, don’t be afraid to ask your most pertinent questions about their business or research and don’t forget to have a positive attitude towards the interaction no matter what.
Lastly, be confident and ask respectfully for the professional’s permission to contact them so you can pursue your career interests without acting like a stalker. You may very well find the opportunity of a lifetime through your networking endeavors.