What is networking?
Networking is about intentionally reaching out to individuals or groups in order to build new relationships or maintain and develop existing ones. Sometimes networking is confused as going out of your way to meet people with the intention of getting offered a job or finding someone to be a reference for a position within a certain company. At the NDSU Career and Advising Center, we encourage networking as a strategy to learn more about careers, industries, specific job titles or roles, and about the professional themselves.
Why is it helpful or necessary to network?
Networking with professionals can be a great way to explore various career paths. There’s an infinite combination of jobs and the way the work is done in those roles, so it likely isn’t possible for someone to be fully aware of every career and work environment out there. Networking is also a great way to meet like minded individuals or those that have similar interests and goals. There’s also always the potential that one connection could turn into further connections in the future, and it’s hard for anyone to predict exactly where they will work and who they will work with throughout their entire professional career. Take advantage of opportunities to meet others in a similar field and be open to the potential of that connection (they could be a future colleague, professional reference, supervisor, etc.). Networking events or interactions are great opportunities for self promotion.
How to get started and be prepared:
- Depending on the event or situation, it might be a good idea to have an elevator pitch prepared.
- Develop a LinkedIn profile. After meeting someone in person at a networking event, LinkedIn can be a great way to stay connected to them for time to come. LinkedIn can also be used for networking: find Alumni from your program, connect with professionals in your desired career path or company, seek networking opportunities that may be hosted by companies of interest, etc. Click here for further tips on effectively developing an account.
- Attend local or community events to learn more about industries in the area that you might be interested in working. The Chamber offers many opportunities to network, and social media or LinkedIn can also be great places to learn about more offerings in the community.
- For current NDSU students, seek out on campus opportunities and opportunities to network with those of similar interests. Check out myNDSU for upcoming events!
- Attend Career Fairs or Expos and other NDSU Career and Advising Center sponsored events. Log into CAREERLINK to learn about on campus employer presentations and Employer Spotlights (employers are coming onto campus to provide information about their company, the jobs they may have open, the types of positions held at the company, etc.)
Some of the links contained on this page will direct you away from the NDSU Career and Advising Center website. The linked sites are not under the control of the NDSU Career and Advising Center and we are not responsible for the contents of any linked site or any link contained in a linked site. The NDSU Career and Advising Center is providing these links as a convenience and the inclusion of any link does not imply endorsement by the NDSU Career and Advising Center.