Networking is all about discovering and utilizing connections between people and tapping into your circle of friends, family, professors, previous employers and Wheaton Alumni. At the core, it is about being able to explain who you are and what work you want to pursue and being resourceful at uncovering learning opportunities in a particular field.
Why is Networking Important?
Over 80% of jobs are not posted online and are obtained through networking.
As you can see from the pie chart, networking plays a critical role in obtaining a job or internship. Direct contact with people, preferably face-to-face, is one of the most effective ways to learn about career fields and discover internship and job opportunities.
BEFORE = PREPARATION
- Reflect on your professional interests and identify 1-2 potential career paths.
- Identify your skills, talents and preferred work environment and their applicability to your chosen paths
- Compose at least three questions which will give you the information you need to determine which career path would be a good fit. For example: What are your daily tasks and responsibilities? What is your weekly schedule? What do you find most rewarding about your job?
DURING = CONVERSATION
- Be proactive. You need to initiate and orchestrate the conversation
- Introduce yourself giving your first and last name as well as your major
- Begin with comments or questions about the others person’s work that will lead to further discussion
- Remember, you are building a connection and when you network, there is a potential relationship with that person’s circle of family, friends and past business contact
- End the conversation with a request for a business card and permission to follow-up with any questions
AFTER = FOLLOW-UP
- Write thank you notes to each professional with whom you have had a conversation
- Identify what you learned from your conversation with that person
Take advantage of opportunities to network right here at Wheaton!
Start building your network & Wheaton Connections through: