• Elizeta Pylioti

networking as a student.

Since the beginning of university, one thing that was constantly emphasised was that networking is essential for the future of our chosen careers. However, making connections as a student can be challenging. We don’t have much experience yet but still want to advance early on in our career of choice.

woman listening to a video on her laptop in bed / fully grown

There are multiple ways to increase your connections in your field and take a step closer to the position of your dreams whilst studying, but first, it is important to clarify one thing.

Networking is not only about making connections with professionals that can recognise your skills and help you advance in the industry, but it is also about networking with students or young professionals who could be great connections later on in your career.

Here are 4 simple ideas that can help you grow your network:

build your LinkedIn.

I know it sounds cliche, but LinkedIn is an excellent networking website with many job opportunities and great people you can connect with! If you don’t have a website, LinkedIn allows you to upload posts about your work, leading to people seeing what you are capable of. Don’t be afraid to showcase your skills. You never know who is looking!

join societies.

Every university has dozens of societies about literally anything you can imagine, from board games to sports to languages and so on! Whether you join a society for one of your hobbies, or a society closer to your field of study, being part of a small community could help you make friends, as well as good connections for the future.

talk with your tutors and lecturers.

Being at university means you are surrounded by experienced professionals whose goal is to help you grow in your field of choice. Reaching out to them can be essential for your future career. Whether you are reaching out for advice or questions, the initiative can be life-changing. What if they like your work and introduce you to another fellow professional who hires you as an intern? You really never know what could come from networking, so don’t hesitate to talk to people.

join seminars and online events.

Another great thing about LinkedIn is joining online events hosted by professionals and big corporations like Disney and Spotify. During these events and seminars, you may not have the chance to directly talk with the hosts. But you can ask questions and get a closer look at how the industry of your choice operates.

Apart from LinkedIn, TargetJobs hosts multiple events which mainly target young professionals. Their goal is to connect students from all over the UK. From personal experience, this is totally worth it because it gave me the chance to meet amazing people and professionals through fun and free events!

It is also worth mentioning that career centres within many universities host events for students. Their sole purpose is to help you network with professionals and fellow undergraduates. Drop them an email and ask about any seminars that you could participate in!

As you can see, there are many ways to expand your network and establish some good connections for the future. At first, it may seem difficult, but once you begin this journey, good things happen!

One thing that really helped me build my network was overcoming my fear of asking questions. I have struggled with anxiety, so expressing what I am thinking has not always been easy. However, virtually and in real life, attending events and meeting new people helped build my confidence. It taught me that there is no such thing as a dumb question! One of the purposes of networking is to help you advance in your career, and asking questions is key to achieving success. So go out there and have fun networking!

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