The knowledge you gain during college is just as important as the relationships you make. Often times, references are needed for internships, your first full time job and even for graduate school acceptance. Not surprisingly, our professional networks are invaluable when it comes to discovering new career paths and job opportunities. As a college student you can build your professional network by joining professional student organizations, asking questions when employers visit your class and by developing a strong rapport with at least one of your major professors.
All of these connections will help build your network. Don’t underestimate the value that casual acquaintances can add to your professional network. For example, if an employer has a booth set up in the atrium, step out of your comfort zone. Go over to the booth and introduce yourself to the employer. Sometimes, it is easy to look at a company and think of them only within the context of the products they serve or the services they offer to customers. However, a rental company may have accounting positions and a financial services company may be recruiting for business analytics majors.
The hallmark of professional networking is the mutual sharing of information. Actively seek out people who want to share their knowledge and expertise. This includes campus recruiters, professors and on campus guest speakers.