What is networking? Networking is little more than meeting people and talking with them. About themselves, their careers, and how they got there.
Who is in your network? Really, anyone. Your parents. Their friends. People you know from church. Colleagues and supervisors where you have worked or interned. Your Career Counselors at Wheaton. The guy you caddied for at the golf course. The woman whose children you babysat. These can all be part of your network.
How do you do it? Today there are a number of tools for networking:
- LinkedIn is a tremendous career-focused social media network that allows you to connect with individuals from your college, at the company you are hoping to work for someday, or in positions that you are pursuing.
- At Wheaton College, we have our own networking tool called Wheaton in Network (WiN) which can connect you with alumni who are interested in advising you on your career journey.
- Informational interviewing is a great way to grow your network. People in business are often happy to talk with students about their own stories, their companies, and the kind of work they are doing.
- Microsoft® Excel or some other sort of software that allows you to capture the people, contact information, and next steps in your networking efforts. It’s important to “work” your network, and to do that effectively, having an organized list of your contacts, your past interactions, and possible future activities all in one place can help you stay organized and moving!
For more on networking, here are some helpful articles:
LinkedIn as a Networking Tool
6 Tips for Networking as a Student
Top 10 Tips for Networking in College
Top 5 Career Networking Strategies for New College Grads and Entry-Level Job Seekers
Networking Timetable for College Student
Networking and Informational Interviewing (to be updated)
Also, be sure to “Like” us on Facebook for up to date advice and the latest news for your career journey.