One of the many reasons that college is extremely vital to your professional development is that it allows you to create a network that you can use for the rest of your life! In order to successfully build your personal network, you must first be able to get out of your shell and make connections. For many, it is easy, but for many others, it is extremely difficult. Here are 6 tips that you can use to build your personal network regardless of whether you are introverted or extroverted.
1. Get to know your roommate
Your roommate will more than likely be your first friend in college or at least your first connection. Simply by getting to know your roommate, you can expect more comfort both in your living quarters and in your social life. Befriending your roommate is vital to socializing and building the foundation to your network.
2. Leave your room
Avoid staying in your room and get out there! Constantly look for events and activities. Simply by going outside, you will put yourself in position to socialize with others and build connections. When you stay alone in your room, you simply hinder yourself from interaction and social growth. Interaction is vital in turning strangers into friends.
3. Give help and be involved
Simply by adopting a “giver’s mentality” you add value to yourself. Helping others is an interaction that brings immediate gratitude and creates a positive initial relationship. What you give into people now will reciprocate back to you in the future.
4. Surround yourself with like-minded individuals
Connect with people that share the same interests as you. By doing so, you will create a relationship on the basis of interest. Creating a network of people who share similar goals will create more opportunities for you and allow you to enjoy different projects and ideas that you and your group formulate.
5. Get to know professors and faculty
The absolute biggest advantage of attending a small school is having the opportunity to build relationships with your professors. Not only will this allow you to be more successful in class, but professors can also present opportunities, refer you for your career jobs, and even help you with things outside of “school”. Building relationships with professors and faculty are essential for your personal network, especially if you want to advance your professional life.
In all things, consistency is key. By simply using these tips every chance you get, you will eventually create a personal network so large and beneficial towards your goals, that opportunities will present themselves. Socialize every day, and your relationships will begin to grow and flourish. Start building your personal network now, so that in the future, the connections you made can be beneficial to you.
Elijah Perry, Marketing Major, Class of 2019