When an individual makes the decision to become a student, the biggest factor in the forefront of their mind is that studying will give them a head start in their chosen industry once they graduate. Depending on which industry one wants to forge a successful career in, it is no secret that having a degree under one’s belt can give them an advantage over their competition. Individuals that make the decision to take on higher education studies also actively make the conscious choice to dedicate a significant period of their lives to fine-tuning their abilities before making their way into their industry.
Whether the individual chooses to take on the fashion world, or start their own business specializing in custom shipping boxes, and anything in between, that student takes on the knowledge that they are actively choosing to commit wholeheartedly to the cause. Of course, the primary goal of university is to sharpen talents and learn new skills, but what many students do not understand until it is too late is that university is also a chance for them to network with other professionals in their chosen industry. The single greatest piece of advice that any university student could get is to network as often as they can during their studies. But why?
Amid the chaos of impending assignment due dates and upcoming examination weeks, it is easy for some students to forget that they should be making the most of every aspect of university, not just the learning opportunities afforded to them through the experience. For example, during one’s university years they are almost certain to be surrounded by some of the greatest minds in their fields. Unfortunately, many students are so preoccupied with keeping up with their studies or going to parties that they forget to take full advantage of the network of minds around them.
Sure, university parties are great. And yes, they are technically networking in their own right. But during a student’s time at university, there will be anywhere from five to twenty industry events on campus or around campus that are [mostly] free to attend. While assessments are vital to academic success, networking these events is crucial to building one’s network before they have technically entered the industry – and this is an invaluable advantage. You literally cannot buy the kind of industry connections and industry knowledge that these types of networking events can give you.
Students often feel immersed in the overwhelming experience that is university to the point that they cannot focus on much more than simply getting through their studies. This is obviously the most important part of university. There are no doubts about that. But students should also go out of their way to go to events hosted by their faculty or around their campus and home town. These events are incredibly valuable learning tools and wonderful places to build strong network connections that could be of great use later down the track. Every student knows to commit to their studies. That is a given. Every student should also know how to network before they have to jump into their industry post-graduation.