An introduction to college networking

by Gianna Rispoli

As a college student, it can be overwhelming to delve into your professional career while also focusing on schoolwork. Luckily, you can take one of the first steps to jumpstarting your career online via LinkedIn. After compiling your resume into a unique profile, you can begin connecting with people and building a network. 

When connecting with people and organizations on LinkedIn, it’s important to seek out those who share similar goals and ambitions. Once you’ve begun to establish this network, you can build upon it by reaching out to companies you’re interested in working with. Whether you’re looking for an internship, a full-time job or are just interested in what a company does, you should be persistent in forming these types of connections. 


After forging these connections, LinkedIn will automatically tell you what school alumni work in similar companies or industries. Connecting with these people is a great way to learn more about others who have followed your anticipated career path. Explain to them how you’re interested in growing your knowledge in their industry and send personalized messages to people you’re interested in meeting. If possible, schedule informational interviews to continue the conversation.


While LinkedIn is a great starting place for college networking, you should also take advantage of the in-person networking opportunities around you. College campuses offer a variety of events for students to make professional connections. Career fairs, clubs and other social events are helpful for meeting like-minded, early-career professionals on your campus. If you’re interested in staying up to date on all networking and career-building opportunities, you should also familiarize yourself with your school’s career center. These vital offices are often the go-to resource for opportunities and events that help you connect with your peers or alumni. 


With LinkedIn as the primary starting point, college campuses are ripe with opportunities to build your network, and often allow you to do so in a comfortable, supportive environment. Building these networking skills and maintaining robust and continuous involvement in on-campus organizations will put you on track to pursue a career in your field. 


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