What’s the Point of Networking and Getting Involved?

When I finally decided on pursuing a degree in communication, I made it a point to get involved to gain experience and acquire the skills that I needed to help me find a job when I graduate. So, I began writing and submitting articles to my college newspaper. To my surprise, they accepted them!  This boosted my writing confidence tremendously so I continued working at it.

My next goal was to have an interview which I wrote featuring a local ferry boat captain published in one of the larger weekly magazines in my city. Again, I was pumped when they agreed to publish my work which gave me the assurance that I was actually a pretty good writer.

From here, I decided I wanted to begin getting paid for my writing so I contacted all of the local newspapers, magazines, and journals that I could find. Very few editors responded and when I was able to talk directly to them, I was often turned down, feeling discouraged but one of my professors encouraged me to keep reaching out and eventually I would get a break. He was right. I ran into an editor who needed some articles written and began writing for the local business journal.

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If you are thinking, “what’s your point?” keep reading.

-We all know that employers are looking for experience, so it is vital to get practical, real life work. In order to get a job after graduation, students can place these skills on their resume to prepare themselves for their working future.

-Get to know your professors. If you have an opportunity to meet and discuss your interests with your teachers, take them up on it! Meet with them during their office hours. You will find that most of your other classmates won’t – so take advantage of befriending your college professors.

-Talk to your fellow classmates. You never know what kind of experience, knowledge, and contacts they may have under their belt. It just may turn out that one of your amigos will play an important role in helping you get the job of your dreams.

-Join college clubs that are available on campus. Clubs are opportunities for students and faculty to come together and share their knowledge to help others and themselves. Again, this is a tremendous opportunity to network with those who share the same interests as yourself.

-Meet with your Dean. The leaders of your academic programs are invested in you and want you to succeed. If you are unsure of your next step, set up a meeting with your Dean and talk to him or her. Ask them, “what would you do if you were me?” Chances are that they have been in your situation and may be able to provide some valuable answers for you. Deans have a multitude of contacts and will be willing to help you any way they can.

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