The One Networking Opportunity Most Students Ignore
Posted: 11.17.11 in The Professional Life
Tags: branding, class, college, Networking, professors, students
Nothing says "Of course I am paying attention," like drawing Pac-Man eating your Skittles. In class. Then taking a picture of it. In class.
As an upper-level college student, it can be overwhelming trying to figure out where to start networking. There are so many unknowns related to it and that fear of not being taken seriously by real professionals in the real world can make networking sound like torture.
However, there is one networking opportunity that most students ignore. It is the easiest place to start and can produce real opportunities if you treat the opportunity right.
So what is the one networking opportunity that most students ignore?
Professors can do so much more for a student besides teach.
Professors are professionals first and are full of insights and tips to help students be successful.
Professors typically have a plethora of local connections in the professional realm in which they teach.
Professors are willing to give recommendations for those students that they feel are worth recommendation.
Professors are willing to help students get connected to their own network if the student proves his/herself worthy.
So what should you do and not do to make yourself worthy of recommendation?
Come to class late, hungover, looking like a mess.
Sleep, play Farmville, listen to music or other obvious distractions that show that you are not participating in class.
Curse and belittle other students or the professor. I have actually seen it happen and it blows my mind every time.
Send angry emails to your professors. That is a one way ticket to the bad list.
Takes showers in your favorite cologne or perfume.
Make excuses for why every homework assignment is late.
Pester them for recommendations. If you deserve it, they will offer without you having to ask them every other day.
Dress like you are homeless, going to stand on a street corner after class or wearing clothes borrowed from Shaq when you are the size of J.J. Barea…or vice versa.
Show up to class.
Show up to class on time.
Participate in class.
Offer to help other students who need it.
If the professor needs help with a computer issue, needing something moved, etc., offer to help.
Talk to your professors often. Most of them enjoy getting to know their students.
Stay in touch with them even after they are no longer your professor.
The Bottom Line:
In a way, college is the start of your career. Treat is as such. Treat it like you would your first real job. Doing so, you are likely to take it more seriously and reap great benefits from it. College is where you really start to develop and build a reputation for you, your brand. Do it right.