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Classroom to Careers: Virtual Networking 101

While there have been a lot of parts about your job or internship that have changed, one thing has stayed the same – the importance of networking! 


Networking is an invaluable piece of your professional development puzzle. While we may not be able to meet up with people in person, there are so many opportunities to connect virtually. And we have plenty of time to do it right now! 


Not sure where to start? Here are some ways you can make sure you’re staying connected. 


Start within your university. 


Networking isn’t always about meeting new people. There are plenty of people within the university that you could stay connected with. Reach out to your academic advisor and chat about your upcoming job or internship. Or, ask a current/former professor or faculty member to catch up! These people are just as crucial to your success as any other professionals. 


Prior job or internships connections 


This is a great time to reconnect with a former boss at one of your internships, or anyone else that you formed a close relationship with! Ask about the work that they have been doing, and tell them about your academic year! 


Search LinkedIn 


This is one of my favorite things to do! LinkedIn is a great place to connect and stay connected with people. Search for professionals that are doing the types of jobs that you want to do someday. Invite them to connect and ask for an informational interview. Say something like this: 


“Hello, XYZ! My name is Chase Kusel, and I am currently a student at Iowa State University. I saw that you work at XYZ Company, and have had a career path very similar to things that I would be interested in. Would you be willing to get on a phone or zoom call sometime soon for an informational interview?” 


Instead of coffee, do a zoom meeting! Informational interviews are great because it’s an easy way to build a connection, and you can learn so much about their career path and how they got to where they are! 


Networking isn’t always for professional gain, and we can use it as a vital tool to learn more about different career paths and companies! Don’t let COVID-19 stop you from building your network! 


If you need more resources on how to navigate the job or internship search during COVID-19, check out our resource page! 


You can schedule a virtual advising appointment through CyHire!