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Networking Time Table For College Students

 

 

Freshmen Year

  • Start building a relationship with professors and your advisor.
  • Participate in as many organizations and activities as your academic schedule allows.
  • If you are working, establish relationships with your boss and coworkers.

 

Sophomore Year

  • Begin narrowing your career goals.
  • Embark on a series of informational interviews that will help bring your career into focus.
  • Start thinking about obtaining an internship in your career field (this can yield excellent networking contacts).
  • Join student chapters of professional organizations.
  • Continue to foster relationships with professors, other students, and co-workers.

 

Junior Year

  • Develop your resume if you have not done so already.
  • Begin to brainstorm a list of potential networking contacts.
  • Make a list of companies you'd like to work for and start thinking about whom you know who might be able to help you break into your dream companies.
  • Sign up with one or more networking site on the World Wide Web,
  • Check out the UTC Career and Student Employment Center’s Alumni Career Mentor Program. Check the alumni files of your fraternity or sorority, too.
  • Step up the pace of informational interviews. People working in your dream companies are excellent targets for interviews.
  • Consider creating a "networking card," a business card for those not yet employed, so you have something tangible to hand out to people you meet.
  • Begin to introduce yourself to every guest speaker you encounter in classes. Give them your networking card, and, if appropriate, your resume.
  • Continue contact with professors, students, and employers.
  • Become increasingly active in professional organizations.
  • If you have not yet done an internship or otherwise obtained practical experience in your field, set the wheels in motion to do so before the middle of your senior year, and make as many contacts as possible at your internship workplace.

 

Senior Year

  • Meet with your adviser early in your senior year for an in-depth discussion of your career goals, and ask for his or her suggestions for people to contact.
  • Continue to maintain contact with professors, students, employers, guest speakers, and others you've "met" through networking efforts.
  • Participate in the UTC Career and Student Employment Center’s Alumni Career Mentor Program.
  • Fine-tune your list of potential network contacts and set a goal to contact a certain number each week or month. Arrange to meet with as many contacts as possible, and always ask each one for more referrals. Send thank-you notes, and update your contacts regularly on your progress.
  • Continue informational interviewing.
  • Begin to contact people with whom you conducted informational interviews earlier in your college career to tell them you are getting close to graduation and remain very interested in their organizations.
  • Enjoy your graduation ceremony with a big smile on your face, because if you've done all the above, you are probably graduating with a job in hand. Be sure to write one more note to all your contacts telling them about your new job. And don't throw away any of your networking information; sometimes that first job doesn't work out, and you just might need to call upon your network again.
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