5 minutes


Networking 101

Networking 101

A beginner’s guide to Networking

We’ve all heard of it, but not many of us actively do it - networking. Essentially, networking (or building professional relationships) is important when it comes to finding out about job opportunities, internships, and other professional development opportunities. While most of us already know that networking is key - especially at the undergraduate and graduate level - many of us either don’t know how/when/where to start, or are intimidated by the scary world of networking.

In this blog, I’ll give 5 best strategies on how to get started with networking.

1.Career Center

Most universities have their own Career Centers that are focused on helping students of the university land good internships as well as job opportunities. They do this through industry-specific career fairs, panel discussions, professional development workshops, and much more. Many often also provide guidance with resumes, cover letters, and interview prep. Approaching the career center and attending their events might be the best first step you can take to start networking.

2.Alumni network

You can go about building your professional network by reaching out to your university’s alumni. This can be via a quick search on LinkedIn or even through your university’s alumni portal (which is also often provided by the Career Center). If you don’t wish to simply network with alumni via LinkedIn, a good good place to find alumni who would be more interested in helping you out would be the alumni of your on-campus organizations. As alumni of your current club or organization, they may be more invested in your professional growth.

3.Cold emails

Cold emailing refers to reaching out to individuals who you do not personally know or have a connection with to join your professional network. This is considered one of the most intimidating ways to network, however, based on my personal experience, when this is done in bulk - it can be effective at times. In other words, if you email fifty contacts at top consulting firms, it is likely that one would respond. You can go about doing this by searching up individuals such as “recruiters” at specific organizations. Next, find their email via platforms such as LinkedIn, and go ahead and reach out to set up a quick coffee chat!

4.Reach out to Professors

Talking to Professors you have taken classes with, done research with, or just have a good relationship with might be a great way to get started with networking too. If a specific Professor is doing work in an area that you have prior experience or knowledge of - it can become the foundation for a long-term relationship. Many Professors have connections with the industry, and might be willing to introduce you to their network when needed.

5.Connect with everyone in your personal network

Finally, while this might go without saying - it is essential that you reach out to everyone in your personal network as well. This includes everyone you or your immediate family and friends know through their network. Reaching out to these people might be the easiest way to get started as it would be relatively less intimidating given that you, to some extent at least, already have connections with these individuals.

Bonus tip: you can also network with industry professionals, masters students at top universities, as well as undergraduate students at T-20 universities to talk to through the Swadesh community. Our accelerator programme allows our users to exclusively network with such individuals.

For more informative tips about similar career-related topics, visit our blog page.

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