Networking is often connected with the business. Looking for future partners or clients, building connections are seen as an important part of growing a company. At the same time, your contacts might help you in finding a dream job. Why not start creating your professional network during your studies? Meeting right people may be fruitful for your career. Check our tips on what to do to meet new people and how to keep in touch with them.
Where to find new connections?
The simplest way is to start networking during your studies – your professors are a good source of news and trends in your industry, try to be up-to-date. Involve in scientific projects, it will provide you with a space to show your skills and present yourself as a good worker. Professors may recommend you for a job in a partner company or offer to stay at the university. Keep in touch with your colleagues, after graduation they will work in different companies or institutions, which may result in easier contact – nobody knows when you will need it.
Being active during your studies help you meet new people. A perfect way to do so is to involve in student’s organisation or scientific circle. Make a small research and check what’s available at your faculty, what goes with your interests. This kind of involvement allows you to work in a team, develop new skills, be responsible for your tasks. And of course build new connections – with other students, with professors and with partners of your project. So… have you found it? Time to go for a first meeting.
Did nothing catch your attention? Try volunteering then. Is there any social cause that is close to your heart? Maybe it would be beneficial to support NGO as a volunteer? Are you interested in child care? Is fighting for women rights important for you? Do you care for animals in shelters? Give your time and support an organisation dealing with the chosen issue. It allows you to do a good deed, gain experience, and also to meet passionate people. You can try international volunteering as well – check opportunities given by European Solidarity Corps – a programme that enables you to participate in a volunteering project abroad. Ideal chance to make new friends and do something good for the world.
Are you gaining your first professional experience as an intern? Great! But remember, don’t treat an internship as another bullet point in your CV. Of course, it is an excellent possibility to develop skills, learn useful tips & trick and check how it is to work on such a position or in such a company. At the same time, it is a perfect moment for networking. Use this opportunity to get to know professionals from your area of interest. Learn from them. Make friends. Ask for a recommendation letter at the end of your stay in a company.
Courses and workshops
Another way to network is to attend courses and workshops. Think about the topic you want to explore and find a course where you can deepen your knowledge or develop your skills. But don’t forget to get to know other participants – people interested in the same area as you. And if you are in a networking flow don’t omit a trainer – it might be a beneficial connection. If you think that this way is suitable for you, check out our offer of courses and workshops. In the springtime, we organise Competence Academy – in cooperation with employers we provide a wide variety of workshops – an ideal opportunity to gain knowledge and meet new people. Take a chance!
Events for professionals
Take part in events dedicated to professionals from your industry. It might be a forum, a conference or a meetup. Some of them have networking time on their agenda. You will gain new skills and make connections that matter. How to find the right event? Take a look at any adverts at your faculty. There may be events organised by university or scientific circles as well as the commercial ones. Try some websites:
Meetup.com – search for meetings and events accordingly to your interests
Evenea – a well-known event manager with a search engine
And of course browse your Facebook, especially Events bookmark or specific Facebook groups for professionals from your industry. Still nothing found? So maybe you are willing to polish your public speaking skills (and meet new people) with Toastmasters club? And check events organised by coworking hubs, e.g. Skyhub.
How to keep up with your contacts?
So we know where to meet new people but what’s next? Think about how to keep in touch with them. Have you made friends during your voluntary service or in students association? Befriend them on Facebook. It will allow to message them anytime in the future. Have you met some professionals during a conference or a workshop? Ask them for a business card and later invite them on LinkedIn. It will allow you to follow their posts and be up-to-date with what’s going on in your industry.
Nowadays, networking might be as essential as gaining a diploma. You never know which meeting will bring the right person. Even if now you think this contact will not be useful you never know what the future would bring. A person you meet may be your future employer, or a person that recommends you for a position, or a partner in starting a business. Even if you are not a master of small talks and rather perceive yourself as an introvert, find your way to build connections. Prepare questions to a trainer of a workshop you take part in and ask them right after the meeting ends. Ask for business cards at the conference and write an email already from home. Invite people on LinkedIn with a message where have you met.
Take part in our events:
Job Fair – a perfect possibility to meet employers and recruiters
Competence Academy – meet representatives of the companies from the Łódź region and other students
And many more… follow our website and Facebook page!