Network While On Campus And Find Better!

Expand Your Contact Circle

Network While On Campus And Find Better!

networkschool


By Mark Swartz
Monster Contributing Writer

You've probably got hundreds of Friends on Facebook. There may be crowds who follow your every tweet on Twitter. But are you stepping out of the virtual world to network in the real one too?
 
Campus life gives you plenty of chances to chill with others. Meeting new people face to face can be sick. (We also recognize that it can be hard for noobs, haters, or people who are shy.) But the bond you make by shaking someone's hand, looking each other in the eye, talking person to person...it makes for profound (and lasting) impressions.
 
These contacts come in handy for exploring careers and job hunting. The more people you get out and meet, the wider the range of doors they might open for you. Here are some popular "campus networking" options for students.
 
Meeting Fellow Students
 
One of the best things about Facebook is seeing who your friends have Friended. Turns out your buddies and galpals may know some people who could help you move your career along.
 
That's why it's good to meet other students in person, on top of your social networking. You never know who knows who. Fact is, many employers who hire post-secondary students, for internships and jobs, recruit by talking to students they’ve already brought on board.
 
One way to meet other students in a targeted way is to check out campus clubs. Depending on where you're enrolled, there may be groups for everything from fitness to finance, academics to zoo lovers.
 
There are also lots of professional organizations with campus affiliations. For example, there's a CAFP (Canadian Association of Foodservice Professionals) student branch at Brescia, University of Western Ontario. And a Students in Free Enterprise club at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT).
 
Hobnobbing With Professors

Hard as it may seem to believe, your professors have lives outside of school. Their career-related pursuits - and professional connections - could be in business, the not-for-profit sector or government agencies. That's a lot of contacts you could tap into.

Remember as well that professors may know which employers tend to hire that department’s graduates. More than likely, these professors also keep in touch with graduates who are now working. A 15 minute chat with one of your instructors could pay off for you. Same goes for Teaching Assistants who also work.

Leveraging Student Services Professionals

Your school employs all sorts of student services professionals who work directly or indirectly with you, such as:

1. Residence life professionals, who run the campus residence halls.

2. Campus activities professionals, who set up educational and recreational events for you and your fellow students.

3. Counseling and health services professionals, who take care of your mental and physical health needs.

Add to the mix the career services professionals at your school’s career center, who interact not only with students but also employers. All of these people ultimately work for you. Their salaries are largely funded by your tuition and fee dollars. More importantly, they enjoy helping students.
 
Tips For Successful Networking As A Student
 
You might think that networking on campus means dressing up, making awkward small talk with strangers. Actually most of your in-school networking will be informal. Like at meetings of your club or groups. At pubs and social events.
 
It would still help to carry around something to be remembered by. An interim business card will do the job nicely. On it you can state your name, faculty or college, and email address. Include your phone number if you want to. Add your Facebook or Twitter URL too.
 
For occasions where you'll be meeting with professors or others you'd like to impress, consider dressing less schleppy than normal. Maybe groom a bit more than usual. Visual impressions can influence people's opinions about whether to refer you on to others.
 
You won't always have your POS, introducing you to helpful people. Don't set yourself up for an epic fail. Add in-person networking to your virtual connections and gain the human edge.

Start spreading the news. You can tweet your experience and share with friends and students, you never know who will help you Find Better!

Tweet your experience with us on @MonsterCa and follow the trending conversation #findbetter. You can also share your thoughts on our Monster.ca Facebook page.