Believe it or not, even college students should be networking; this is the time in your life when connections need to be made for future career paths. The economy isn’t getting any better, and unless you plan on staying in school forever or going into the medical field this is you’re “in” to the working lifestyle. You probably don’t have a lot to offer any major corporations just yet, but the connections you make can lead to influential career advice and possible internship opportunities. Here is how to get your networking, social and alike, on the right path.
Get a business card. No you aren’t running your own company or going to work in a suit yet, but it’s an easy way to provide all of your contact information in a professional way. Vista Print often runs deals for business cards, you don’t need many, just a good bunch with phone number, address, social networks, websites, blogs, and portfolio information. This is the beginning of your personal brand, google it, it’s popular.
Make friends with your professor. Even though the other kids will laugh and point, they will be the sorry ones on craigslist.com looking for a job. This is a great source for references and letters of recommendation. Building a relationship with your professor will allow you to get more out of the class and take advantage of the career options.
Get involved. You most likely live on campus; give yourself something to do, that’s in your chosen career path. On-campus involvement like clubs, publications, and organizations will give you a prominent starting spot for the next four years. These are also resume assets for future interviews.
Grow up, just a little bit. You aren’t in high school anymore, so put on a belt, don’t let your belly show, and speak clear English. You aren’t going to make any connections with your back tattoo showing, your pants dragging, and introducing yourself as “Billy Bob Gangsta, yo.” Get a real email address and consider recording a new voicemail message, especially after you start handing out business cards and making career connections.