Networking: Getting to Know People
The #1 way people find opportunities is through networking. Recent surveys of employers indicate that 80 – 90% of all hires come through networking! Networking is connecting with others to build a sort of "database" of people who can help you explore careers or maybe even connect you with jobs/internships. It takes time to establish and maintain these relationships. Networking is two-way: your contacts help you but you also help them. As a student or recent graduate, you may not feel like you have much to offer to individuals with more than 20 years of experience, but over time that may change.
But what exactly is it?
- Hanging out with your friends
- Talking with a professor during office hours
- Discussing your interests with a family friend
- Having dinner with an alumna/us visiting campus
- Talking with an alumna/us over the phone
Networking isn't being insincere and “schmoozing.” Instead, it is taking the time to genuinely get to know someone else, sharing your interests, ideas and curiosities with them, and finding how you can help one another.
One of the best ways to get connected to professionals is through an informational interview. Along with being a great way to find a job or internship, informational interviews are great ways to explore career paths.
Talk with a CDO advisor to learn more about how to use networking effectively.