At college we reach a point where we start looking for a job, yet we all struggle at some point during the process. No matter where we are, we all try to seek help in one way or another. However, we all receive the same advice. What is that advice? Network. At the Diversity Internship Career Placement (DICP) event called “Learn Key Skills to Build & Expand Your Network in a Virtual World”, Juan Pablo Burritica discusses the apprehensions as well as the importance of networking. All students find networking daunting because they do not know where to start, who to reach out to, and much more. However, the first step to teaching college students about networking is solely stating what it is and the external benefits not only in the short term of their careers, but in the long run. Juan emphasizes that not all of us can be like Heidi Roizen, but that with practice we can be successful in connecting with people. Now that we are all online, it makes it harder for us to build relationships. Being in person allowed us to go to events such as club fairs and directly walk up to a recruiter. With the transition of in person to online, networking has immensely switched to reaching out to professionals via short messages, emails, and more. Nonetheless, this type of networking has numerous benefits. It just takes patience and persistence. With all this in mind, Juan introduced the students about sustaining a strong network. Juan states that in order to connect with others, you must truly develop that relationship. You cannot dive into what you “need” from the other person right off. Also, it is pertinent to maintain the relationship as well. Networking is a give and take method.
Being that these students were freshmen and sophomores, this event provides them a general overview about building relationships. It is important to introduce this topic to them in these years because when they are ready to connect with others they will take the advice to network. If they have any trouble about the process and how to actually send out an email or message, the Wasserman Career Center is there to help. Being a participant in this event has given me the opportunity to sit back and reflect on my own networking skills. It was easier for me to go up to a recruiter, give them a 30 second pitch, ask them questions, and get their contact information. However, I too have had to change my mindset and broaden my methods of networking. This event taught me the importance of making connections, following up, and staying in touch. So if you are struggling with getting a job after filling out a plethora of applications, consider the advice from this event: do your research, connect with people you actually want to get to know, and see where this leads you.