As a student in college, it can be easy to think that networking doesn’t matter. You might think you’ll get to it eventually and you are in no rush. But networking is incredibly important, especially in college because the point of networking is to have a network of people before you need it. So the sooner you can start networking, the better.
Here are a few reasons why networking is essential to start early:
1. Learn About Different Industries
The first and most important reason to network is to learn more about what it looks like to be in the business world. Through networking, you can meet people in a lot of different industries and follow up with them through one-on-one meetings to learn what they do in their job. Talking to people in different jobs and industries can help you learn what you want to do and what you don’t want to do. You can better understand different industries and jobs as you meet with various business people while getting advice and helpful information from your network.
2. Have Your Network in Place Before You Need It
We all know the reality that it is not entirely what you know but also who you know. Networking allows you to build mutually beneficial relationships. By starting to network while still in college—or even high school for that matter—you set yourself apart from your peers and stand out. Very few college students network, and by taking a step out of your comfort zone to do this, you will really stand out. People will be impressed with you, and it will lead to many of opportunities that you wouldn’t have otherwise.
3. Lean On Your Network When You Need It
Are you tired of applying for a bunch of jobs or internships to get experience in your field and seeing no success? The reality is that this is not really an effective way to find jobs. Meaninglessly applying to many jobs usually doesn’t get you anywhere. That is why a network is so helpful. Your network will be willing to help you if you ask. Once you have a solid network of business people, you can reach out to potential contacts in your field of interest and see if there are any opportunities for internships or jobs. That is if you haven’t already been offered an internship. Again the fact that you are at a networking event will impress people so chances are opportunities will come your way before you even ask.
4. Form Mutually Beneficial Relationships
I truly believe your main purpose and intention of networking should be to build relationships that can help you grow and learn in your skills and knowledge. The purpose of networking is not to just benefit yourself or to manipulate people to get what you want. Networking relationships should always be mutually beneficial. So if any connections have helped you, reach out to these professionals to see if there is anything you can do for them.
Student Business Opportunities at LBC | Capital
The Student Business Collective at Lancaster Bible College | Capital Seminary & Graduate School has several exciting events coming up! If you would like to learn more about resume writing and networking, hear from business professionals or delve into Linkedin and why it matters, sign up at studentbusinesscollective.com. The Student Business Collective is also excited to announce a large-scale networking event in April for Business Administration students. This event will allow student to connect and build relationships with many business professionals.
(Sarah Mehesy (’24) is a Business Administration major from Elizabethtown, Pa., who serves as the Vice President of LBC’s Student Business Collective.)