Networking

Making friends is fun and entertaining for college students but in the business world, socializing becomes a way to help your business grow and prosper.

Networking, which is the term given to the act of building relationships for business purposes, is necessary because of the ever increasing competitive nature in the business field.

The sometimes cut throat nature of the business field can be daunting for students, but making contacts while networking during college can help to alleviate job search headaches. It can also put students ahead in their future careers.

Mashable.com reports that “according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 70 percent of all jobs are found through networking,” the Web site said.

Kushi Jones, director of career services at California Baptist University, goes to many business conferences that emphasize networking for college students.

“Networking needs to be one’s strongest link, not the weakest link when pursuing one’s vocation,” Jones said.

Networking is important when looking for a job. The more people students know in the business world, the more people that can point them in the right direction when looking for employment.

Jones said that internships are critical for college students. They should have a base of 150 people in their network.

The conferences that Jones attends also emphasize the importance of utilizing internships as a means to generate a base for a network, because internships expose students to workers from all different positions within a company. In turn, these workers may introduce the interns to people outside of the company, which may help them acquire employment in the future.

Not only do internships provide valuable experience within a business setting but they also lay a foundation with which students can start networking. Students that obtain internships have a better shot at having a successful job search.

Along with the importance of meeting people in the business world is the importance of exhibiting the ability to think critically and use things like eye contact to establish confidence.

Jones said that businesses are looking for college students that exhibit drive and the ability to think on their feet.

Both online and face-to-face conversations open the airways for communication and interaction between business people. Developing the skills to make these connections is imperative during the college years and aid in the networking process.

Social networking sites, like Facebook and Twitter, have helped people get jobs through established relationships and their colleagues. Web sites like linkedin.com and pickriverside.orgallow communication between businesses and professionals.

Opportunities to share ideas and information are often available. Formal meetings and business luncheons are not the only places to talk business. Meeting new people and sharing ideas can be conducted in most areas of your day-to-day activities.

One last point about how to network: talking to faculty and staff members is a great way to network and get connected. The Career Services office is also a great way to find internships and make contacts.

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