80% of jobs or internships are found by making connections with professionals and alumni. The more professional friends you have in your network, the better your chances of finding the right opportunity.
Often, hearing the words “connections” and “networking” can easily make your heart beat faster and your palms start to sweat.
It’s Okay. Take a DEEP breath.
Think of “connections” or people in your “professional network” to be more like friends. Friends tend to help friends when they are in need.
The more professional friends you make, the wider your network becomes which can lead to more jobs, internships and opportunities.
• Don't forget to introduce yourself and remember to thank them for their time.
• When wearing a name tag at a networking event, place it on your right side, so that when somebody shakes your hand, it's easier to read your name.
An informational interview sounds more complex and scarier than it really is. It's just a conversation with someone, like a professional or alum, about their career story as well as insider tips about a job/internship, industry or company. Everyone has a story to tell so just ask about it.
Hint: Just like you, when they started out, someone probably helped them along the way.
• Send an email or hand written thank you note after the interview to thank them.
• Be sure to let them know how things worked out and how their advice made a difference.