Whether you’re a graduate student or entering your senior year in college, now is the time to start polishing your relationships. You may not realize it, but you already have many valuable resources right under your nose–you just have to sniff them out! Read on to find out who can help you make your next career move and how to reach out to them.
Whether it’s your academic advisor or a favorite professor, these are the people who are going to write your recommendations, so make sure your advocates are ready to sing your praises. Step into their office after class with follow-up questions to the day’s lecture to display your interest in their subject. Also, your professors are a great source for career advice, so schedule a meeting to pick their brain. Giving your all during class doesn’t always get you noticed; make the extra effort to stand out.
You may have heard the phrase: “The children of today will grow to be the leaders of tomorrow.” This means the girl sitting next to you in class, the dining hall, or the bleachers may be a successful and influential leader one day. Consider reaching out to a classmate whose work you admire or who always makes insightful comments during class discussions. Who knows, maybe you’ll go into business together one day!
Consider contacting the experts, professionals, authors, who come to give talks on campus. You already have one foot in the door towards establishing a contact because you heard them speak. Since lecturers tend to have large audiences, get noticed by asking thoughtful questions during the Q&A session. If you’re uncomfortable speaking in front of everyone, go up to the speaker at the end of their lecture and let them know how much you enjoyed what they had to say. Ask if you could exchange email addresses or connect with them on LinkedIn.
Take full advantage of your school’s alumni program. These men and women stay in touch with your school for a reason—to help you! They are an excellent resource as mentors or for potential job opportunities. Most schools have a database with contact information. Find someone who works in a field you are interested in and shoot them an email. If they’re interested in establishing a relationship, set up a coffee date or phone call. Since you already have your alma mater in common, you’ll have plenty to discuss!
– Caitlin Moore