First things first let’s get this clear; there is no such thing at brown nosing in college. Teacher’s pets don’t exist, but favorite students do. When the first day of a semester arrives not every class is going to be your favorite. The important thing to do is find the select few that grab your attention; the ones that you find yourself participating willingly in. Then make an effort to introduce yourself to your professor. Whether it be before class, after class, or even during their office hours. Make the introduction and build a relationship. Ask them questions about their careers and the people that work for the university that do something similar to what you want your career to be. Ask them if they know about any extracurriculars organizations, whether affiliated with the university or in-town, that they could introduce you to. Making it a habit to introduce yourself to one or two professors each semester will not only make your time in school more valuable but also will be the key foundation to networking with people in the same professional career path you are seeking.
Another way to expand your network outside of the classroom is with an extracurricular organization. This organization does not necessarily have to be related to what you study in school but rather something you enjoy and have an interest in; although academic extracurriculars can be equally as helpful. Whether it be Greek life, a club specific to your major, a club sports team, or anything in between. The point of joining these groups is to surround yourself with people that have similar interests and goals to your own, and if your campus doesn’t have a club that suits your interests, you can summon your entrepreneurial spirits and start one of your own by recruiting like-minded individuals to join your organization. This will not only help you strengthen what you are already good at, but expose you to things that will help you grow as a professional too. Often times you will find peers that you take a class with or the professors that teach them are the ones involved in these extracurriculars too. Adding just another interconnected web to your on-campus network.
Career Development Center
Scheduling a meeting with your on-campus career development center is another way to help expand your professional horizons while on campus. They can help you figure out what type of career paths may suit you best, help you practice your interview skills, see what kind of jobs might interest you after graduation, and even provide you contacts with people that work in the industry that interests you — whether they work for the university or a local business. Meetings like this are crucial to help you meet people that have been in your position and give you the opportunity to learn from them or even work with them.
Many students find it necessary to work a job while they complete college, part or full time, either on or off campus. This can be a great way to build up a resume when applying for summer internships and entry-level positions within your desired career field. The network you start to build by reaching out to your professors on a one to one basis, joining extracurricular organizations, and talking with your on-campus career center can help you attain a job; and if working while going to school is too time consuming you can still set up informational interviews with local business owners to gain insight into your potential career path.
Following this simple advice can help you build a flourishing and well-connected network on campus and improve your educational and professional experiences.
Once you have established your network it is important to seek leadership roles and become truly involved and engaged with your areas of interest.
Once you have done so you will have the foundation for a well marketable resume. If you download the Boj app and create a profile you can make the daunting task of finding the perfect summer internship a whole lot easier for yourself. It gives you the platform to take the network you’ve built and the skills you’ve developed to apply for jobs that match your professional interests and the employer’s needs.
Networking is something that will never cease to exist in the professional work environment. It is a nonstop perpetually connected web that creates our economic ecosystem. Spinning your first metaphorical web into that vast network during your years at college creates the necessary foundation for a flourishing professional career.