During your college career, it’s important to make lasting connections. One of the best ways to accomplish this is by getting involved. You can do this by joining clubs at your school, attending workshops, seminars and networking events. When going to these events one has to adopt a certain mindset in order to take full advantage.
Here are 3 habits to have as a college student at networking events:
-Bring a notebook
I cannot go to a networking event without my notebook. It’s one of my prized possessions. Bringing a notebook is very useful especially when you go to workshops. You get to have a place to store all of the valuable information that you learn. It’s also a great way to show recruiters and managers that you are taking these events seriously. For example, while at a school seminar I started writing down in my notebook all of the tips that I was hearing and a recruiter was very impressed. She told me that she had not seen someone so interested in learning outside of an academic setting. She then proceeded on giving me her card so we could keep in touch. I am still in contact with her and she always keeps me updates on opportunities.
-Mingle with others
The point of going to a networking event is to meet people. You get to be exposed to all sorts of people in the industry. They can range from students, interns, managers to CEOs. So you never really know who you might end up connecting with. It’s therefore important to keep an open mind and try to connect to as many people as you can. Get out of your comfort zone and go mingle with the crowd. Chances are they’re all as anxious as you and ready to meet people as well. After going to a couple of events, I quickly got over my fear of mingling with others. The more you go, the less anxious you will be. Being an extrovert can make all the difference especially when it comes to networking.
-Always follow up
This is more of an after event habit that you need to start applying. People are busy and tend to get caught up in every day life that they forgot about things. This is your opportunity to remind them that you are very much interested in connecting with them. After every event, make sure to gather all of the business cards that you have taken and following up. You can do this by simply sending an email to say how you really enjoyed their talk or you could also add them on LinkedIn and simply reach out to connect. These simple actions can go a long way.
As college students, it’s important for us to make connections beyond an academic standpoint. Going to networking events is one of the ways to accomplish that.
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Christy Joseph, Writer, Shortstints