We all have heard how knowing the right people at the right places works wonders at some situations. Especially in the present age, the importance of the statement, “It’s not what you know, but who you know’, has increased unfathomably. In the working world, networking is considered an integral part of growing as a professional, but the question is- Is networking as a phenomenon, only limited to offices, and work life?
The answer is no. College and university offer you tremendous networking opportunities that you will unlikely receive again. Universities have professors who are quite useful to network with and can provide you with excellent growth tips and help. While in college you never know what path would your career take years down the line? Remaining in contact with your teachers from university and college shows you the way to several successful career paths.
Networking with professors when you study will keep you updated with the latest course material and also focus you to get the most out of your education. In depth discussions with professor, before or after classes will put you ahead of your competition and help secure your career. The confidence and experience that you gain after networking with professors will be enough to make your transition to the corporate world smooth and effortless.
Besides, when you reach out to professors and give them a chance to realize your worth and your capabilities it will definitely give you an upper hand when appearing for your first interview. Professors are busy people, they are in contact with so many students a day, teaching and training them that it if you do not put extra efforts to make them realize your presence, and they won’t even remember your name or who you are.
When in future you come back for their help regarding some technical term you want to understand better, you definitely want to remain in their memory. You might like to avoid them owing to the strict nature and annoying disciplinarian ways, but nevertheless, these people have connections at the right places. They are well respected amongst the leaders of the industry and chances are that the company you are aiming for after university might have a top official from the same alma mater as you. He or she might also help you get a foot in the door at that organization.
How to go about networking with professors?
The best time to network with university faculty is the beginning of the semester when everything seems fresh, new and exciting. It can seem hectic with all the excess energy around, but this is the best time to rekindle or kindle your relationship with old students, new students, professors, and other faculty.
There are multiple evidences to show that students who build a good rapport with their professors in the initial days of the college are already on their way to being successful at not only academics, but also in their career after university. Here are just a few practical tips that can help you open those doors to better communication with faculties and hence to better career:
The first thing to network with professors is to get noticed, and for the same you need to speak up. Find opportunities where you have something sensible to speak up. Whether it is class or a seminar orany other networking event, make sure you speak up. While sitting in the class sit at the front so that you are automatically visible. Ask questions wherever possible. However make sure not to overdo the speaking part as too much of everything is harmful.
Drop by to say Hi
Drop by once in a while at the professor’s office to say hi. It is not necessary that you have a question to ask or any favour from them, but still you should be able to strike a conversation regarding some current affair or event happening. You can also ask advice from your future career plans which would be like the best thing to do as it would show your confidence in the particular teacher.
Connect on social media platforms
Digital media has made networking quite easy. With social networks like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, you have got different avenues from where you can connect with your faculty members, chat with them or wish them on various celebratory occasions. However, stop short of stalking them or intruding in their personal lives as it will show your desperation and portray you in bad light, which you do not want to happen, obviously. Do not be scared of e-mailing your teachers wishing them a Happy Thanksgiving, a Cheerful New Year and Merry Christmas. Such a gesture would be more than appreciated.
Assist them; for free
Volunteering for the job of teacher’s assistant. This will go a long way in improving networking with your professors. It will also prepare you for the role of assistant professor, if you chose to apply to it in the future. Helping out teachers is a quite good thing to do, and moreover, there are plenty of universities hiring new assistant professors all-round the year. It would be wrong to expect any monetary help in initial days, but if the role becomes permanent and you would like to give it a serious thought than also, assistant to professors earn excellent average salaries.
Become a Club Member
Getting involved with any student clubs or student group that your professors may be in charge of is a sure shot way of getting noticed. Active participation from your end would be even better and certainly favour your reputation amongst the faculty and students alike. This entrepreneurial nature helps when you set out the first steps towards getting a new job.
These small and simple steps are capable of sending out strong signals that you take your teachers seriously. Not only your reputation would be of that person who takes his career seriously, but you will also be considered a good human who loves building positive and lasting relationships with professors, and values their contribution in your life.