You have probably heard that its not what you know, but who you know. Unfortunately, it is true. You not only have to study hard and learn your stuff but you have to meet and get to know a slew of people to help you in your future. Networking can be a pain-but well worth it.
So here is how networking truly helped me:
I had my first few IA classes at UW-Stevens Point with a wonderful professor, I went to her office many times to ask for guidance and in turn we got to know each other very well. Because of this connection and my dedication to the program she recommended me for my current position in the dean’s office. This opened up a world of connections, like getting to know the crew from facilities which lead me another job in their department working for the director. By ordering furniture and asking questions of a furniture dealer I was given a recommended for a full-time position. The connections I have made from one connection goes on and on. Not to mention the recommendation letters that have been written from these bosses and professors that lead to scholarships.
Meeting these people is a great step for your future career. But the real task is to maintain contact with these people. After my internship sophomore year, I would send an email here or there or even a holiday card to the office. After a little while they started asking me to do some work for them via computer and then they asked me to interview for a full-time position–which I received and accepted!
Some people may say it’s luck or academic dedication, but I would not have been blessed with all of these opportunities if I hadn’t gotten to know my professor freshman year. So, students, look nice in class, don’t sass and think about your future as you build professional or personal relationships–you never know where they could lead you.