If you've never heard of networking, then listen to me closely when I tell you IT'S IMPORTANT. In a nutshell, networking is connecting with others. Specifically, I'm talking about the importance of networking with people, professionals, students, etc. in the design world and within your chosen discipline. There's probably a million and one reasons why networking is crucial these days, but for our purposes now, I'll just break down a one or two below...
+ Would you like to increase job guarantee after graduation? I'm assuming your answer is yes, right? Well then hop to it and get out there meeting people. The more connections you make during your time in college, the easier it will be to utilize those connections when you are job (and even internship) searching. Like the old saying goes, "it's all about who you know..."
+ Would you like to learn how to be professional? Again, I bet you do. (And if you already think you're a pro, then practice never hurts.) Networking with others gives you the opportunity to conduct yourself as the young professional that you are because you are interacting with professionals who have made it in the industry. By getting direct face time, you can really learn a lot about what to do and what not to do in regards to professionalism. And if you're worried, you can always prepare for your first few networking opportunities by checking out the Career & Internship Services office. It's an awesome resource right in McNeal Hall, and they can help you get ready to shine.
Now that you know WHY networking is so important, the next thing you're probably wondering is HOW. And let me tell you, it's a lot easier than you think. First off, there's lots of events the the College of Design's College to Career Program hosts that bring professionals right to campus and other events that bus students out to design firms (FOR FREE). When you meet a professional that strikes you as interesting and you'd like to form a connection, it's usually as easy as introducing yourself, asking for a business card, and following up via email. Just like that, you've made a professional connection. And it's always good to stay up on things like linkedin where you can easily maintain these connections. (Check out the blog post about it!)
I know that may be a lot of info up there, but if you have questions, don't hesitate to lave questions in the comments!
Until the next one,