What Is Networking?
Networking is the process of engaging and interacting with others in order to develop professional relationships, exchange information, and learn about opportunities.
Networking can help you to:
- Discover new ideas and inspiration for your initiative.
- Connect with new mentors and stakeholders.
- Discover opportunities to support your initiative.
- Learn from other's knowledge, previous mistakes and experience.
- Make connections for the future progress of your initiative.
Where Can You Network?
As a student, you can network:
- With your teachers and mentors.
- With other student groups at schools trips and events.
- On volunteering programmes.
- With parents, guardians, or relatives.
- With other student societies and initiatives.
- At recruiting events with employers.
- At youth organisations such as The Career Hub.
- With NGO, company, and organisations representatives.
How to Network Effectively
- Approach people you think could be valuable connections for networking, introduce yourself and your project.
- If possible, before you approach the person it is useful to have researched their background. Know what information you are looking to gain from them.
- Aim to also be a useful contact to the other person. Consider what you can offer them, perhaps they could benefit directly from your initiative. Make any opportunities clear to them.
- Don't start the conversation with what you want, build a relationship first.
- Be friendly and polite.
- Aim to get to know the other person as well.
- Listen and ask questions.
- Exchange contact details at the end of your conversation, and send a follow up email, text, or call.