The Power of Networking: Connecting in the Classroom

Posted by on November 18, 2014

Quentin Kintigh-Smith, Information Technology AAS Graduate

You connect on social media. You connect in the community. You connect with others all the time. Sometimes you don’t always know that you are connecting, so it is imperative that you act accordingly and professionally in all situations.

In the classroom is where your experience starts to take place. Make friends in class and start creating a bond. When working on group projects, respect one another and handle yourself in a manner that is deserving of respect in return. Show your classmates that you have the drive and dedication to complete assigned tasks. Also take note of the skills of those around you. There may come a time when you start your own business or you start working for a company and there is need for a certain skillset.

Consider these scenarios:

Scenario 1:

Student A gets a job with a big company. The company is looking to hire more people, so they ask Student A for recommendations. It just so happens that Student A had class with a few people that showed real strong work ethic and responsibility that would be ideal to work with. Student B and C now have jobs because they connected with Student A, and it all started in the classroom when they were respectful of one another and showed initiative to get things accomplished.

Scenario 2:

Student A gets a job with a big company.  Human Resources is looking over resumes and sees an applicant that went to the same school as Student A. HR seeks input from Student A. Student A informs HR that Student D was always late for class and refused to participate in group projects and then took credit for the work that was done. Suffice to say, Student D did not get the job.

Both of these scenarios are real-world examples what could happen in the workplace—one of which actually did come true at Marco.

Thanks to Quentin Kintigh-Smith, graduate from the information technology program at the Minnesota School of Business-St. Cloud campus, Marco was looking to add a few more employees and he had a few people in mind. Quentin said, “Having my recommendation being a deciding factor in their employment was such a high honor. After working alongside Ben and Lance at school, and learning more about what they both have gone through, I couldn’t think of anyone else I wanted to work with.”

This shows the power of connecting with your classmates.

“Network with your classmates!” added Quentin. “Being able to reference not only what you did in class, but who did what and the skills they brought to the table can boost your standing in your company immensely. Companies put a lot of weight into someone’s referral, so the next time you think about skipping an assignment or skipping class, think about what a classmate would or could say about that to an employer.”



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