First year of college can be overwhelming. You have to get used to the classes, professors, new surroundings, and of course, figure out how to meet and make new friends. Networking is important to help you start your college experience off right. In this article, we will give you some tips on how to go about networking and making connections in college.
1. Reach out to your upperclassmen
Chances are the upperclassmen have been in your shoes and will be more than willing to help. They can share their own experience and help you transition into college life. Start by spending time in the campus library or dining halls, and ask around to find out which of the upper classman are welcoming and friendly. You can then begin to follow them on social media and get to know them better and eventually, try to grab a few coffee dates.
2. Attend student organization meetings and events
Most colleges host regular student organization meetings. These are great for you to begin to network. By attending events organized by student organizations such as the Student Council or even international student associations, you will meet more like-minded people from diverse backgrounds. These events usually have ice breaker activities that break down the barrier between the participants. This creates the best opportunity for introductions and for building networks.
3. Join the study groups
When attending college classes, try to join study groups. This can be an amazing way to meet your peers and to get to know the people in your class better. Ask your professor or teaching assistant to help you connect with a group. And if the group is already too big, split it into two or three study groups. You can then take turns to organize study sessions; one group to discuss one chapter and the other for the next chapter and so on.
4. Utilize the career fairs and networking events
Most colleges offer career fairs and networking events on a regular basis. Make sure you attend some of them. Not only will you learn more about the potential job opportunities available to you, but you’ll also make contacts with recruiters, employers, and industry experts. Use these activities to practice your networking skills and build your contact list. Use the conversations you have to start building relationships with different people.
5. Participate in online events
If your college doesn’t host any specific events, don’t worry. You can find many events and activities online, such as webinars, virtual conferences, and other virtual meetups. Sign up for some of these and make sure you participate or volunteer when possible. This will give you a great opportunity to practice your networking skills and get to know experts in your field.
These are just some of the tips on how to go about networking and making connections in college. It takes time, but once you put in the effort and make sure to reach out to others, it will be worth it. Remember to be open and genuine, and don’t be afraid to take the initiative, introduce yourself to people and don’t be shy about asking for help. With these tips, you should be well on your way to networking your way through the first year of college and beyond!
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