How to Make Professional Friends

Career Desiggn Center student employee standing next to blue and white trike at pop-up with UB students.

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.

Getting Connected Is Easier Than You Think

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. 

What Types of Professional Friends Are There?

The more professional friends you make, the wider your network becomes which can lead to more jobs, internships and opportunities.

  1. An Adviser - someone who has done what you want to do.
  2. An Advice Giver - someone that is in a different field than you.
  3. A Connector - someone who knows people who have done it before.
  4. An Expert - someone who you trust who will give you honest feedback.
  5. A Backup - someone who you might need in the future.
  6. An Alum - someone who was a former student at the University at Buffalo.

Ways to Make Professional Friends

Meet Alumni Meet Employers Informational Interviews

We know that you have a lot of questions about your future career path, you are not alone. UB alumni have been in the same situation and they know how you feel.

Fun Fact: Connecting to UB alumni is one of the easiest and quickest ways to build your connections.


Find UB alumni, hopefully leading to your next big step.

Inside look

See what company culture fits your style-- leadership or career-wise.

Not sure how to get the conversation started?

See how to introduce yourself and our list of conversation starter topics and questions for when doing an informational interview.

Learn New Career Skills at Upcoming Skillshops

Get professional advice for writing your resume, interviewing, finding a job and so much more at our popular “skillshops.”

> View upcoming skillshops

Want a customized skillshop for your club, group or class, or have an idea for one, book a career workshop.