Date of Publication: 19 February 2020
‘It’s not what you know, it’s who you know’ is one of the most overused and yet accurate phrases to date.
Networking is a vital part of an individual’s career growth, starting from the moment you decide on your career path, and leading you through to your retirement.
To define, it’s the process of speaking to and sharing information with professional contacts who in turn can give you more exposure and more opportunity to help progress in your career. It can be formal (at specific events or conferences) or informal (sending a message over social media), and take many different forms. However you do it, it’s a vital part of the modern business world and can help you to reach new heights in your career path.
If you’re in school or university, now is the perfect time to get ahead of your peers and start networking. Not convinced? Check out our list of the top 8 benefits of networking for students:
1. lStrengthen industry connections
Networking is all about forming trust and sharing knowledge, contacts and information between one another which, in return, should help you to reach those all important career goals. If you regularly commit to assist your contacts with opportunities, you’ll be strengthening your relationships, and thus, sowing the seeds for when you may need their assistance in the future.
2. Get ahead in your career
Networking with industry professionals can help you to become visible and noticed by industry experts who may help you to advance in your career. You should try to attend as many professional networking events as possible in order to gain exposure in the industry and establish contacts who may help you with future employment or experiences.
Don’t know where to start? Our spring courses offer a networking dinner opportunity, bringing some of the finest minds in your industry to you and offering you the chance to communicate and exchange ideas with them.
3. Career advice
An important benefit of networking is the ability to take advice from experienced peers in the industry. You can discuss common challenges and current opportunities available, even getting down to the nitty-gritty of what subjects they studied before university or what extracurricular activities they take part in to boost their CV/resume.
In return, you should always remember to try and offer genuine assistance to your connection in return, building strong foundations for a supportive relationship that you can depend on throughout your professional years.
4. New ideas and fresh perspectives
If you’re ever looking for new ideas on topics for an essay or project, then going to your network of contacts should definitely help. Exchanging information on your challenges and experiences is a very good benefit of networking, allowing you to gain a fresh perspective which you may not have thought of previously.
Don’t forget to offer your ideas in return when asked, by doing so you’ll be building your reputation as an innovative thinker within the industry.
5. New job opportunities
By meeting new people, it’s likely that you’ll be meeting more people with knowledge of available vacancies or recruiters who are looking for talented individuals interested in your stream of work. Regularly keep up with your active networking, and the likelihood of being introduced to a potentially relevant individual will increase.
6. Learn about the latest industry developments
Networking is a great way to exchange knowledge about the latest industry developments or business techniques, keeping you up-to-date and ahead of your peers. You never know when the information may be useful – be it for a scientific essay you’re writing which looks at the latest research on Artificial Intelligence, or a job interview for a lab job in which employers want to quiz your knowledge of the industry! The larger your network, the more access you will have to valuable information.
7. Build Your Confidence
Every time you step out the door and meet someone new, you’ll be building up your self-confidence, as well as some invaluable communicative skills that will last you a lifetime. The more you network with new people, the more you will grow as an individual and succeed in making lasting connections.
8. Develop lifelong friendships
Although the purpose of networking is to develop your professional relationships, some of the strongest friendships have formed from work-related connections. It’s hardly surprising – when you’re networking, you’re meeting with people who share similar goals and interests as you, so it’s likely that your professional network could blossom into personal friendships.
Looking to up your networking? Why not come and take part in one of our spring or summer courses? You’ll be joined by a small cohort of passionate and like-minded peers who could become invaluable to your network.
Moreover, when you join our courses, you’ll also be granted access to our Bridgemark Network, our alumni site which allows you to connect and communicate with peers from previous years who may be able to offer you invaluable information!