By Brylee Vandiver
Career experts say a big part of being a student and working toward getting a career is networking.
Networking allows students to build relationships with professionals that can eventually lead to career or business opportunities.
New York Times bestselling author Keith Ferrazzi said in an interview with management professor Adam M. Grant from Wharton University of Pennsylvania, “Relationships are crucial to our success, no matter what we want to achieve in our lives, whether it’s to be President of the United States, the CEO of a company, to right some social ill or whatever it is.”
Networking as a student can be intimidating. Talking to someone you do not know who is already involved with your chosen career is not the most comfortable thing to do, but it could make or break your career.
The professionals you are contacting probably did the same thing when they were students as well. So even if it is awkward or uncomfortable to you, they probably completely understand and most of the time will be willing to help.
Marc Leonard, an instructor from the Department of Business and Computer Science, said “Networking is absolutely critical as a student and professional. It is how the world works.”
Leonard said that he would not be where he is today if it were not for networking and shaking the right hands.
His tip for students who are trying to network is to “get out of your comfort zone and ask for help,” because “Most people will want to help you.”
Making that extra effort or connection could be what sets you apart from the rest of the pack and could lead to great opportunities for the future.