By Kabira Barlow
College is all about networking. From networking with your peers, who will one day be your colleagues, to attending networking events and trying to land yourself that fancy internship. Networking is extremely important in the professional world and it’s better to start sooner rather than later. That being said, how exactly do you network? Here are a few tips that have helped me and I hope you find helpful too.
1. Don’t be afraid to speak first
I know it may be awkward to go up to a complete stranger and start talking to them, but they will appreciate you seeking them out in a crowded room.
2. Wait your turn
Specifically at small networking events it’s not uncommon to have a lot of people who want to talk to the same person and you may find yourself at the end of the line. If this happens don’t attempt to interrupt the conversation, but patiently wait until the person is free. Go grab a drink and come back!
3. Don’t rush yourself
Go at your own pace, you do not have to go and speak to someone until you feel you are ready to do so.
4. Flattery Helps
Now, I’m not saying you have to act like they hung the moon and stars, but it doesn’t hurt to tell them that you are interested in what they do (that is if you are). People love to discuss their professions and love it even more when others seem interested in doing it themselves.
5. Be yourself
This is incredibly important. When networking it is important be yourself, talk about what your interested in, tell a funny joke and be someone who they will remember.
6. Have Fun!
Networking, especially networking events can be a lot of fun. You get to meet interesting people and also get an opportunity to connect more with your peers. Enter with an open mind and in the mood to have a good time.
Networking is a great way to meet new people and make useful connections. It may be intimidating but it gets easier with practice. I hope these tips help you score great connections at your next event. Do you have any other networking tricks? Comment away!