Go Outside of the Network to Build your Net Worth
I’m sure the concept of networking has been emphasized enough. But think outside of the box when it comes to leveraging your alumnae network. Take advantage of any alumnae events or virtual tools your school offers. But use Google. Find alumnae that are doing what you want to do on Twitter and LinkedIn. Start talking to them. Get to know them, ask for feedback/advice. If they’re in your area ask to meet up for coffee or lunch. Sure, your school will give you access, but it’s up to you to do something with that access.
Are you interested in going to a cool conference or an awesome event? Talk to academic departments and your student government about funds that have been set aside for leadership exploration, many schools have such designated funds, but a lot of students don’t even know! Be in the know…talk to fellow students, professors, co-curricular advisors of opportunities to get your trips and admissions tickets funded. Also, don’t be afraid to contact event organizers and tell them that you’re a student who’s interested in learning more about the industry, you might be surprised.
Let the Boring Inspire You
What do you usually do when you’re stuck on a hard math problem or don’t understand certain concepts within a topic…Google it. How often do you find topics that truly interest you and you wish you could learn more about but the professor doesn’t have room for it in her syllabus. Not often, but it happens. Take some time and follow-up on that spark of interest when it does come up. Look for things that interest you within the class and do some outside research. I promise you, you’ll come across so many cool people, organizations, and thoughts that will motivate you. You might actually end up enjoying the rest of the class or subject.
Career Services isn’t Enough
It’s no secret that the job market is competitive regardless of the industry you’re in. Everyone knows the path to success, right? Go to college, have a job/internship every summer, and build your resume. Then get your resume edited and expand your network. But that’s simply not enough anymore. Everyone is doing it! Aside from just collecting LinkedIn connections and using the correct resume keywords, you need to build relationships and be aware of what’s happening in your desired field. READ. READ. READ. Read blog posts, the news, industry journals (use your school’s library for access). Follow experts on Twitter to know how the landscape is evolving. Start a blog. Do something more.
Get Off Campus
Don’t just limit yourself to bar-hopping and clubbing. Get acquainted with the town or city you’re in. Instead of going to the library, head to a local cafe or coffee shop. If you’re in a major city, find a nearby coworking space. You’re bound to be inspired by others who are also working towards a goal. Go for a hike. Get work done in the valleys or mountains. Sign up for local meetups or interest groups, this way you’re forced to meet new people, be a part of the community, and of course, network. It’ll not only be refreshing but also inspiring.
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