View More

Have you ever heard the saying “It’s not about what you know, it’s about who you know?” Well that motto directly relates to networking. If you are not familiar with networking, this is something that you should start now as a student and take with you into the work force.  Networking is the exchange of information between people that could develop as your community of colleagues and may become your friends.


Networking is a very valuable tool as it allows you to connect and build relationships with others who may or may not be in your industry. Networking will allow you the opportunity to reach out to others and utilize them brainstorm ideas, determine benchmarks, develop mentor relationships, and of course for possible career opportunities.


You should see every interaction with people as an opportunity to network. Your very first exposure of networking may be in the form of family.  Career choices can be influenced by a family member or friend of the family.  These people will know you best and speak of your character.  They will be able to provide insight and advice on their career journey and it may have a positive impact on your journey.  When you need an internship, job shadowing experience, and professional interviews these will be your go to people.  Your relationship and performance may land you a career opportunity.


Your classmates will serve as the second source of networking opportunities. You will spend an immense amount of time with your classmates throughout your college career.  Be mindful of how you interact with others, how you make others feel, your work ethic, and overall relationship with them.  There may come a day when you may work with, work for, or rely on their opinion as it could impact your career.


The next group of people that serve as valuable networking tools, are your professors. Believe it or not, your professors are incredibly connected in the field.  They were in the field for years (and may still be in the field), they have friends in the field, and they may have access to a variety of professional opportunities.  Your professors will also be able to speak of your professional and academic skills.  You want to make sure you have a positive review from your professors by attending class and submitting assignments on time, working well with others, positively participating in the classroom, getting involved in your major’s professional organization, writing articles, attending conferences, participating in research opportunities, and volunteering whenever you can.  These things will shine a positive light on you and your professors will not hesitate to present professional opportunities to you.


The last source of networking that is available to you is the career development office on campus. If you have no idea where to start, not sure what events to attend, or how to approach potential networking opportunities the career center is the place to start.  This will allow you the opportunity to practice, get feedback, and obtain information about upcoming opportunities to network.  Stop by and see what services are available to you.  The services are free and you should utilize the career center every chance you get.


The most important part of networking is to connect with others, so you will want to have business cards or have your resume handy. If you don’t have either, add the person to your contacts in your phone and be sure to follow-up, so they also know how to contact you.


When it comes to networking, put your best foot forward, be yourself, and showcase your knowledge and skills.

The summer is here and it provides the greatest opportunity to complete an internship.  What better time of the year will you be able to take 20, 30, or 40 hours than the summer? This will allow you time to get some hands on experience in your future career field.  Some internships can be paid, while others are for the benefit of gaining new knowledge.  Some internships are for a short period of time (1 week) up to the entire summer (3 months). Some internships result in job offers, while others produce letters of recommendation.

How well you perform during an internship depends on your performance from day one. Below are 8 tips on how to be successful during your internship.

  1. Dress for success.  Each day you should come dressed for the position you hope they offer you full-time. Take time to give attention into your appearance:
    1. Press your clothes each day.
    2. Stay away from trends and pick more classic looks when making fashion choices.
    3. Stick to natural hair colors.
    4. Avoid bright nail colors and distracting nail lengths.
  2. Arrive on time each day.  On time is to arrive 15 minutes early. Prepare for the unexpected during your commute.
  3. Do your research. Learn as much as you can before and during your research. If there is something you do not know, look it up. Ask questions and take notes on new information you obtain.
  4. Ask how you can help.  Part of you obtaining the internship is to learn, but the other part of you being there is to help out around the office.  You should be able to help with projects, clean-up around the office, and lighten the load for the staff.
  5. Be thorough in all that you do.  When working on projects, be sure to cross every “t” and dot every “i”.  Follow-up on projects and complete projects in their entirety.
  6. Leave the drama at home.  Do not bring drama to the office.  If you are having personal problems, you should try to not allow it spill out at the internship.  You want people to get to know you, your knowledge, and your skillset, but you do not want them to know about the fight you had last night with your partner.
  7. Avoid your cellphone and social media. You should avoid mobile devices unless directly associated the internship.
  8. Bring a positive confident attitude each day.  Come to the internship each day confident and positive about the experience, the day, and each task that is given to you.

It’s almost here-Summer break! The long awaited break from all those books, papers, and classes is just around the corner. As tempting as it may be to kick back and relax all summer long, you’ll probably find that after a week or two doing nothing gets really boring. This is why summer can actually be one of the most important times in a college student’s life! This is where you get to explore who you are outside of school, and sometimes even away from home!

Deciding what you want to do all summer can be a hard task. Maybe you have a job waiting for you back home, and you plan to make a little extra cash to get you through next year. Maybe your family wants to take a vacation to the middle of nowhere for a few weeks. Or maybe you’re one of those stellar freshmen who have already managed to line up an internship! Whatever you plan to spend the summer doing, there are a couple things to keep in mind for making the most of your summer!

First, vacations will mess up the timeline for just about anything else. It can be really hard to get a job or internship when you already know that you’ll be missing a set amount of time, but you don’t know when. For this reason, convince your parents to set dates for vacation well in advance. You can still take the time to spend time with your family, but you’ll also have a much easier time finding employment when you already know when you won’t be able to work. To make it extra easy, try to schedule vacations for the very beginning or very end of summer. You’ll be able to schedule your job around the vacation, instead of trying to get time off.

Second, internships are only as helpful as you make them. Everyone says internships will make or break your future career, and in some ways that’s accurate. However, it really depends on what field you’re going into, what internship you get, and how much time you spend there. For instance, if you’re an accounting major and you get an internship at a movie studio doing set work, that’s not going to be very helpful when you apply to major accounting firms. If you go home and work the books for a small local store, that’s going to be a lot more specialized experience, even though it isn’t an internship or with a really big, famous company.

Whatever you do this summer, keep in mind that you still have a few more summers to make the most of your college experience. If you plan things right, by the time you get out of college you’ll have a wealth of work experience and educational opportunities (like study abroad) to show exactly how much effort you put into getting ahead. By graduation, you’ll be a summer break pro!

You’re probably thinking to yourself–WHY DO I NEED TO WORRY ABOUT MY RESUME? I’M ONLY A FRESHMAN! See, it’s better to start early and continuously work on it, versus rushing as a senior and forgetting what you’ve done in college.

As a freshman, unless you are applying for a full internship, don’t worry about a resume setup just yet. It is wise, however, to start making a list of all of the jobs you’ve held, descriptions of what you’ve done in those positions, and the dates in which you held them. Also, it is never too early to start collecting reference letters or just a list of references. Make sure that the people you pick can speak highly of you and accentuate whatever characteristics you want to promote for a specific job or career.

Check out your career services center now. They are very resourceful and will definitely help you along the way.