Networking whilst at University

Getting a degree is a fantastic way to kick-start your career, however, if you don’t focus on networking at the same time, you could find yourself falling short after your graduation date. Luckily, networking whilst you’re attending University isn’t difficult at all and can be done by following a few simple steps; as long as you’re willing to make the effort, your future with a degree and a good networking base established will be looking bright. So, why do you need to network whilst you’re at University? A degree is great proof that you’re a dedicated and smart individual, however, it doesn’t always open doors in every field of work. That can come down to who you know. That is where networking comes into play. Here, we’re going to give you some tips on how to network effectively whilst studying at University so that you’ll be ready when that last assignment or exam is completed.

Build relationships with your lecturers – One of the most simple ways to network whilst at University is to build a rapport with your lecturers, they are easily accessible, should know you relatively well and often have connections. They may well have opportunities waiting for you when your University course is over, or even during your studies. Don’t be afraid to reach out to them and ask if they have any situations you would find beneficial, invite them for a coffee or just catch them after a lecture or seminar if you feel like you want to keep it more formal. They will appreciate the effort and the worst they can say is no.

Use LinkedIn – LinkedIn is a fantastic way to build and establish connections, after all, that is what it is for. Building your network early whilst at University gives you a head start on a lot of people who are not taking advantage of this useful tool. It is the worlds largest professional networking platform and is home to thousands of opportunities. Keep your LinkedIn profile up-to-date with relevant information like new skills and achievements, identify your audience and groups in regards to who you want to interact with. Make sure your LinkedIn profile is optimised for search with keywords, links and relevant content.

Attend networking events – Get out of your University halls and get yourself to a networking event. Whilst social media is a great tool to use, there is often nothing better than the old face-to-face engagement. Networking events are a fantastic way to meet new people, get your face seen and your voice heard, establish rapport with high-status individuals and exchange ideas. The benefits of attending networking events are limitless, there really is no better way to increase your networking base.

Network with your friends – Networking doesn’t have to necessarily involve meeting new people all the time, sometimes, the people we already know are a great source of networking. Your friends and fellow University students may have skills and opportunities you can use to your advantage and vice versa. Establishing these connections can of course be beneficial as friends usually want to work with other friends, so if someone you know has an opportunity further down the line, you would be the first person they think of.

Network with your friends – Networking doesn’t have to necessarily involve meeting new people all the time, sometimes, the people we already know are a great source of networking. Your friends and fellow University students may have skills and opportunities you can use to your advantage and vice versa. Establishing these connections can of course be beneficial as friends usually want to work with other friends, so if someone you know has an opportunity further down the line, you would be the first person they think of.

 

We know University is overwhelming at times at some points you feel like you don’t have the energy for anything else; however, we really cannot emphasise enough how important networking is for your career after your Uni life is over. A degree in this day and age is often not enough. The who you know can be much more important and is relatively easy to establish, a lot easier than your University course. Give that little bit extra now so that when you begin your career, you have the majority of the legwork done. If you take one thing out of this blog, make sure it’s attending networking events. Attend, ask questions, listen, take an interest and most importantly, sell your personal brand. We have a separate post talking about building a personal brand if you need pointers on that topic. Stay up to date with The Networking Clubs to receive more tips and tricks, the latest news and more!