N E T W O R K I N G
noun net·work·ing \ ˈnet-ˌwər-kiŋ \
: the exchange of information or services among individuals, groups, or institutions; specifically: the cultivation of productive relationships for employment or business.
Whether you realize it or not, you are apart of a network. A group that includes your parents, other family members, your friends, current and former co-workers, current and former supervisors, teachers, WAEF staff and volunteers, etc. People in your network generally know you well and could speak to your abilities. Like you, these people in your life all have networks and connections of their own. Here is where networks become beneficial to you and your future career.
Person A in your network knows Person B who is hiring for a position (that your degree happens to match). Person A and Person B are in the same network. Person A recommends you to Person B. Because these two people have a relationship, Person B decides it would be a good idea to interview you. You’re in! All based on connections you and people in your network have.
So, you might be thinking, that’s great, but I don’t have anyone within my network right now that could help me with my future career. If that is the case, it’s time to start building that network! There are millions of ways to go about this, below you will find a few of the easiest tips and tricks that can make a huge impact.
1. Join LinkedIn- Think, Facebook but for professionals looking to connect with other professionals. Don’t wait until to you graduate, anyone can create a LinkedIn profile. Do remember it is a professional site, grammar check all profile materials, and refrain from Facebook type selfies as pictures. See someone that career path and interests you? Ask them to connect.
2. Take advantage of clubs and groups around you that can provide connections to your desired career. These clubs and associations can give you the opportunity to meet a variety of interesting people. WAEF is an excellent example of an organization you are already apart of that can connect you with professionals. Did you attend the holiday luncheon, career tour, scholarship luncheon, or regional dinner? Do you have a 360Alumni account? Chances are you met professionals at those events or have access to them. These professionals because of their connect with WAEF want to help you succeed. Use those connections!!
3. Internships, part-time jobs, and volunteering can all help you make connections. Don’t discredit that summer job, or volunteer opportunity, you never know what you may learn or who you may meet that can help you in your future career. Stay in touch after to you leave a summer job or internship, even if it’s just a check in e-mail to see how things are going.
4. Reach out to faculty or other staff at your college. Especially those within your major. Professors love talking about their work to interested students. Pick their brains about professions in your major, you never know what connection they may be able to help facilitate.
5. Have a solid “elevator” speech ready! What is an elevator speech? It’s a short 30 second introduction that you can use through e-mail or in person to tell someone quickly what you are all about. It may sound easy, but without pre-planning, the question “tell me about yourself” can leave several people tongue tied. Below you will find a template of a quick and easy way to write your “elevator” speech/email.
Hello, my name is ____________ and I am completing a ____________ degree in ____________ at _______ with a minor in ____________. I am interested in a career in (or position as a) ____________ in the ____________ field (industry). I have been involved (during college) in ____________. This has helped me develop skills in ____________. I have also had an internship position (employment) as a ____________ with ____________ and discovered that I really enjoy ____________. Could you tell me more about ____________ (yourself, types of jobs your company offers, a little bit about your background).
This short elevator speech template can work well in person or through e-mail. If you are e-mailing a potential network connection, be sure to include who referred you or recommended that you reach out to them.
Template from: https://www.kent.edu/career/your-one-minute-elevator-pitch
Remember to relax, networking is about building relationships with people based on common interests and helping people out when you can. Essentially, networking is making new friends!
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What's Going on at WAEF?
-Renewal e-mails have gone out! If you filled out a renewal application, please check your e-mail and follow the directions Talia has sent you.
In the e-mail there is a very important budget section. This must be completed before your phone interview.
If you have any questions, e-mail Talia or call the office (509)663-7713.
-Need to preview your application before your interview? Login to your scholarship account and you will be able to see all the information you put in previously.
~Add our number to your phone book! WAEF now has the availability to text you reminders for events, or about upcoming deadlines. Just add (509) 663-7713 to your phone book so you don’t miss important updates. Have questions about the deadline or event? Just reply to our message and we will be able to answer them for you.