Networking 101 for graduate students.
These are a few things that have worked for me over the years of networking during graduate school that have helped me and I thought I would share.
Why should we network?
- Your colleagues are people who you can lean on but at the same time, you can pay it forward as well!
- You never know what opportunities are out there if you don’t talk to people
- A lot of jobs/opportunities aren’t posted, they are given by word of mouth
Where to begin?
- Twitter! follow some hashtags #academia #academictwitter
- Conferences usually have poster sessions; these are great places to network, or before/after oral sessions. There are also industry halls, where companies set up booths. I used to love networking with different companies at these as well.
- Join societies specific to your field: they will usually have networking sessions
- Student Clubs: your classmates are great resources as well!
How to start?
- If starting is really hard and awkward, set a goal for yourself. If it’s an in person meeting, think about who you want to talk to. Make a list/have an idea before you go
- It can be so nerve wracking to networking, if there isn’t a list of attendees, don’t fret! Talk to one person and ask them to recommend someone they think you should talk to.
- Grab a friend to go with you! It’s easier in pairs.
- If it’s virtual over twitter, interact with their posts!
- Remember that it can be the most random person who could help you out in the future. Networking is a process that doesn’t necessarily give you results right now.
- It’ll be hard at first but it gets easier with practice
What to do?
- Start a conversation, ask them about themselves
- Tell them about yourself
- Remember that networking is as much about helping the other person as it is for you as well
- Go with the intention of helping someone else out as well. This will make you better at networking.
- Be kind and thank them for their time
Hope this helps!