Monday, May 19, 2014

Network for the future

Though it may be tempting to avoid networking when you’re already employed, it’s important to remember that networking isn’t just a job search tool.

Networking is more than going to the career fair once a year. It’s a continual process of building and maintaining relationships that could later turn into job opportunities. Cathy Curless, a strategic management lecturer, said she believes networking should be a constant activity.

Marketing Night 2013
“You have an opportunity to network every single time you come in contact with anybody,” Curless said. “I don’t care if it’s a stranger in an airport, if it’s somebody you meet at a conference or somebody you connect with through friends.”

Jennifer Jordan, director of the Business Career Services Center, said the BCSC provides a variety of ways for students to get involved in networking, including roundtables, mock interviews and field trips to companies. She said the BCSC events provide structure to help students learn from professionals when they network.

“They’re all forums where they can – in a non-intimidating format – learn from people who are doing the types of work that they someday aspire to do,” she said.

Foster Casterline, president of ISAK, said he does most of his networking at happy hours and casual events, but he tries to attend bigger events like conferences as well.

“All the networking events I go to are startup or technology-related, and that’s good because that community is really big in Kansas City,” Casterline said. “There’s a lot of activity, so there’s a lot of events to go to.”

Student organization events can be a good source of networking opportunities. Logan Brull, president of KU Marketing Club, said the club’s guest speakers and marketing night provide opportunities for students to meet and pursue networking relationships with professionals.

“Keep in contact with them as much as they can, especially if you’re wanting a job over an internship or you want to be first priority,” Brull said.

Check out the BCSC for networking events, and keep up with happy hours and check out online resources like Eventbrite or Meetup.

by Allison Kite