4 Types of People You Should Network with in College

As a recent college student, I did a pretty good job of brushing elbows with as many people as I could. Those that I chose to network with have been invaluable in helping to support me on my job search. I never had a trusty map to turn to every time I had a question or needed advice about networking, but I hope this post can be somewhat of a guide for you on your journey to making contacts in your field of interest. These are the secrets of who is in my contact pool, and I am happy to share them in the hopes that this will help you.

Here are the four types of people to get to know:

1. Professors

Think about it. They get to see you every week. They know your work, and they know you. Professors can be some of the best people to network with during your college career. Most likely, they love what they do, and they have a list of past students and other contacts that can be of great value to you.

Keep in mind: These don’t have to be strictly your professors, as chances are that you won’t have classes with every instructor in your department. The best way to get to know other professors and perhaps future colleagues in your field is to be active in your major and to attend many of the events they throw on or off of campus. Professors can be great for letters of recommendation or for giving advice and mentorship.

2. Classmates

I was lucky when it came down to my first roommate. She was a fellow writer who understood what being a writer was all about. She also took her work seriously, which I appreciated. We clicked instantly, and today we’re willing to support one another’s professional endeavors for the long haul. Take advantage of knowing your roommates, floormates, and any other students that cross your path. For summer vacation ideas for college students. You never know how helpful one of these contacts will become in the future. They may turn out to be your boss or interviewer, and having a little history could help you quite a bit.

Keep in mind: Not every college student is going to be the next head honcho in his or her field. Oftentimes, people decide that the thing they thought they wanted to do isn’t what they wanted at all. When looking for student contacts in college, try to find driven people who show a clear passion for what they are doing. You want to be sure that most of your contacts are reliable and remain relevant to you and your future endeavors.

3. Supervisors and Coworkers

These people can be somewhat of a holy grail to the budding professional. When it comes time to find a job, you may want go back to these people to ask for a letter of recommendation or a reference—provided you did a good job working for them. Supervisors and coworkers are also the people who can give you the heads-up about any openings or other opportunities at their company. Networking is all about knowing people, and getting to know your coworkers at an internship or a paid gig, is essential to your professional life.

Keep in mind: Not every professional experience will be wonderful, though I hope they all are for you. The important thing to remember is to always be a professional. Not everyone is happy in their line of work, so not everyone you encounter on the job will be a great contact to have. For tips on handling workplace bullies. Use your gut feeling to weed through the bad contacts to find the good ones. Think of it like grocery shopping, you want to fill your cart with prime produce—not junk food that won’t help you to stay healthy. Shop for quality, not quantity.

4. Career Services Workers

These people can help a lot! From resume advice to finding job forums and opportunities, if there is one campus feature to take advantage of, it’s your career center. Before I left Boston to return home for good, I spent only a few hours in the office with a career advisor. She looked over my resume, gave me lots of tips and advice, scoured the shelves for literature about my field, and finally sent me on my way with an armful of resources and hope. The people in career services get paid to help you, and it’s what they like to do. These professionals may bring up opportunities in your field that you never thought of. They may even be able to connect you to past alumni who’ve made a name for themselves. For more on what your career services center can do for you.

Keep in mind: The people in career services may be of help, or they may not be as helpful as the people I described in my experience. You have to go to your school’s career center to find out. Also, you have to be your own best friend when it comes to the job hunt. Career services can help to get you started, but you have to play an active role when it comes to sending out your resume and following up with other contacts. Think of them as getting the ball rolling; it’s your job to keep it moving.

Without these four types of people, your chances of finding a job and making connections will probably feel like a lot more work. For a list of social networking sites. I’m not the most outgoing person I know, but when it comes to something I want, I’m a go-getter, and I’ll do whatever it takes to help increase my chances of securing an opportunity. It doesn’t take someone with special powers to network, and you don’t have to get caught up in small talk, if you aren’t the most social of butterflies. From my experience, most professionals love to see someone excited by his or her line of work. Show them how much you care about your field, and you may have just made a contact for life.

For more posts by Sara Kosmyna.

How do you go about networking with others? Are there other people you can think of that you should network with? Share your thoughts and comments below!

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4 Comments

  1. Mary
    Posted May 9, 2011 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

    That’s really good advice.

  2. kope
    Posted June 11, 2011 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

    WOW, isn’t this EVERYONE you could meet during college?

  3. Posted June 11, 2011 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

    Thank you, Mary. I hope it helped you to realize how many opportunities exist in the college environment.

    Kope, I’m so glad you checked out this article. Aside from these four types of people, you can also find guest speakers, not to mention industry professionals that come for internship/career fairs. Thank you for probing deeper on this topic.

    I think one of the most important things to do while in college is to learn how to communicate with a variety of people. I’ve come to know that the more connections you have in life, the more chances there are for opportunity to enter.

    Thank you for the comments! Best of luck :)

  4. Posted June 23, 2011 at 2:35 am | Permalink

    Awesome !!!. I’m really amazed and impressed by your writings, they give me so much knowledge and information about how to proceed with things. Another good feature I like in your articles is – you do the internal link of another articles, really helps me find my way through and gain further in depth knowledge about the information posted.

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