College can be overwhelming. So many people. So much to do. So little time. This combination (on top of the finite ending of graduation that looms closer every day) often leads us to return to the question: “what will I do after it’s all over?”
If you feel lost and have no idea what you want to do, let’s talk strategy, and specifically: networking. Networking is a beautiful thing. It’s amazing how talking with people and forming relationships can both help you make sense of your goals and open up new opportunities.
But that word networking can be so intimidating! We’re here to break it down to set you on the right path to finding out where your passion lies!
Make Use of Miami Resources
- Miami’s Career Center can help you with all things career related. From exploring majors and potential career paths to networking and beyond. They can also help with cover letters and resumes for that big interview! And they have mock interviews, and LinkedIn profile training and reviews to make sure your profile stays in top notch shape.
- Miami’s Alumni Connect website can also be a great place to start your networking game and to find a mentor. You select various industries you are interested in and can be paired up with a Miami alum who is currently working in that field for a call to learn more about the field.
- Instructors can be your best friend in the networking game. They are, in fact, experts in their field, so they definitely know a few people who could help you in your recruiting process for jobs.
- On campus organizations such as clubs and greek organizations can be helpful while networking. It is easy to connect with people who share common interests through these groups. And many groups make it a point to develop their own networking opportunities for members or bring in speakers who have worked in the field.
- To find relevant orgs, go to the Hub and search organizations using the categories feature to narrow down your search.
- LinkedIn is an important platform to use in your college and professional career. If you don’t already have a LinkedIn account, head over to the LinkedIn website and create a profile for free. Make sure to use your real name and add a professional profile picture (use the Career Center’s professional photo booth if you don’t already have a headshot). Employers from all over the world will be able to see this, so keep it professional, free from errors, and truthful.
- Once making a profile, actually use it – and again, be professional. LinkedIn is not a casual platform like other social media apps. It is for recruiting and sharing career updates about yourself. Start following and connecting with faculty members (who will recognize your name and have a good opinion of you), peers, internship contacts, etc.
Make an Overview Sheet of Contacts
- Make an overview sheet of people you have formed relationships with, where they work, and what you all talked about! Once you connect with people on LinkedIn and network with them, add them into a document so you can keep track of what you talked about.
Schedule Some Calls
- After you’ve made an initial connection, either on LinkedIn, through a networking event, or even just seeing the person as a guest speaker in an org meeting or class, it’s time to reach out more formally. Time to write the “Nice to Meet You” email (or LinkedIn message). In this email, you’ll want to remind the person where you met them, thank them for connecting with you or speaking about their topic, and tell them a little bit about you and your goals. Then close with a call to action.
- I’d love to meet up for coffee to talk more about your career path. My treat!
- I have a few questions as I prepare to enter the field of ____. Would you be open to meeting with me via Zoom for a half hour next week?
After connecting with your contact, email them and thank them for their time. And then stay in touch with them! Let them know big updates in your own journey and ask questions as needed.