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Posted July 04, 2016 by

How college students can network professionally

Tablet photo by StockUnlimited.com

Photo by StockUnlimited.com

While obtaining a higher education, it’s a smart idea for college students to gather some contacts along the way. Building a professional network in college can be helpful when searching for internships and entry-level jobs. Don’t underestimate classmates, professors, or anyone else who can assist with your job search. John Moriarty, Director of the Career Development Center at Barry University, gives advice on how college students can build a professional network in school.

“The old adage, “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know” is as true today as it was 50 years ago. Building a professional network is the key to unlocking the secrets to success and scores of unknown opportunities. The internet makes it possible to identify professionals in your chosen field; passion, persistence, and determination will enable you to connect with those professionals.

The first and most obvious place for college students to find professionals to connect with while still in school is LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a professional social media platform where professionals create profiles detailing their professional experience, expertise, and education. Using the advanced search feature in LinkedIn, students can search various criteria to find the right person to connect with.

Armed with a list of professionals who are working in college students’ desired fields, it is now time for students to contact the professionals about conducting an informational interview. Ask to meet with professionals (15 to 20 minutes) to learn more about what it takes to succeed in their professions and get advice as job seekers just beginning their careers. Request a face-to-face meeting, but if that is not possible, ask for a phone interview. This is an excellent opportunity for students to build a rapport with professionals and impress them with passion, enthusiasm, and a desire to succeed in the industry.

Besides LinkedIn, college students should take advantage of other internet resources such as industry association websites, news articles, and blogs to identify connections. In addition, students should use the resources of faculty, staff, and the career development center to build their networks.”

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John Moriarty, Director of the Career Development Center at Barry University

John Moriarty, Director of the Career Development Center at Barry University

John Moriarty has an M.B.A. from National University in San Diego, California, and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Florida. A native of South Florida, and a Marine Corps veteran, John spent nine years recruiting employees for various local and national companies before joining the Barry University Career Development Center staff. John has served as a Career Counselor, an Assistant Director, and is currently serving as the Director of the Career Development Center.