Don’t forget to network while you’re in college
The impact of networking
Networking is crucial during the prime years of college. The importance of networking goes beyond meeting new people; it speaks to your communication skills, willingness to go outside of your comfort zone, and ability to make a great lasting impression. The friendships, mentorships, as well as professional and personal relationships inside and outside of the college campus could end up lasting a lifetime. Attending college is much more than just completing homework assignments, studying and preparing for exams, and of course, going to class.
Be an effective networker
In order to effectively network, you must utilize all the available resources, such as making friends in the same classes, getting to know professors, joining student led organizations, running for officer positions, setting aside time to visit career services, and attending as many networking events as possible. All of these extracurricular activities could take up a lot of time and fill up your plate, but the ending effort is so rewarding and will pay off. You will never know until you try; and where there is discomfort, there will be growth.
In addition to sustaining lasting relationships, meeting new people and forming connections will hold you accountable for your actions, goals, and personal brand. This will not only keep you on the right track to pursue your short and long-term goals, but will also hold you responsible by a network of supporters to follow through to the end. Personal branding is vital in networking because of the impression others receive of us.
More often than we assume, people are happy to assist when they witness a person wanting to better him or herself, striving for realistic and exceptional endeavors, and going the extra mile to give back to others. Do not be afraid to ask for help when needed, because someone has helped the person before you to get to where they are today, he or she would be delighted to return the act of kindness. As the saying goes, “we all have to start somewhere.”
Roxi is humbled to be a current Terry Scholar attending the University of Houston as a Communications major. Roxi is involved in the Ignite Leadership Program at UH. Outside of the classroom, her personal goals are to travel around the globe, taste food from different parts of the world, and explore diverse cultures.