College students at Minnesota School of Business-Lakeville have a variety of career interests, from information technology degrees to criminal justice degrees; however, the need for networking skills is universal for all students. Christine Kleckner, director of career services at Minnesota School of Business-Lakeville, shared her five tips to network like a pro!
1. Join a professional organization. No matter what field you are going to school for, there are professional organizations you can join that have members in your chosen field of study. There is a cost to join some of these groups, but more often than not they have a student discount that would reduce the price. The most important part of joining a professional organization? Become an active member! Participate in online discussion boards and attend events in your area.
2. Utilize social media. LinkedIn is an excellent tool for seeking out professionals in your industry. Once you start increasing your connections, you can get introduced to additional connections that might be beneficial to have in your professional network. There are also several groups you can join related to your chosen field of study, so join today!
3. Attend local networking events. There are many groups out there that meet on a monthly basis to network and meet new people. Do a simple Google search of networking events in your area, and you would be shocked to see the many possibilities.
4. Pay it forward. Remember, the purpose of networking is two-fold. Not only should the individuals you meet be of benefit to you, but you should also try to assist them in some way, shape or form. Find out what they are looking for and offer to help!
5. Follow up. Make sure to stay in touch with the individuals you meet to ensure you are utilizing your professional network to the fullest. Keep in touch with them on a monthly basis, even if it is just a short message to check in and see how things are going.
Christine is busy finalizing plans for the Minnesota School of Business-Lakeville Job Fair, which will be held on campus on Wednesday, May 22 from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. The event will feature 30+ employers looking to fill full time, part time and volunteer opportunities. It is also a great opportunity to practice the above networking skills! Invite your friends; the event is free and open to the public.