- Become increasingly active in professional organizations.
- Join professional organizations in your targeted geographic area. If it’s not practical for you to attend meetings, ask the membership chair for a membership list so you can contact members.
If you don’t know the best industry or professional organization to join, ask your professors. You can also use these tools: General Professional Organizations and Associations for Networking.
- Meet with your adviser early in your senior year for an in-depth discussion of your career goals, and ask for his or her suggestions for people to contact.
- Continue to maintain contact with professors, students, employers, guest speakers, and folks you’ve “met” through online networking efforts.
- Find out if your university or academic department has a formal mentoring program and ask to be matched with a mentor. If no program exists, try to scout out a mentor on your own. Alumni often make especially good mentors.
- Fine-tune your list of potential network contacts and set a goal to contact a certain number each week or month. Arrange to meet with as many contacts as possible, and always ask each one for more referrals. Send thank-you notes, and update your contacts regularly on your progress.
- Continue informational interviewing.
- Begin to contact people with whom you conducted informational interviews earlier in your college career to tell them you are getting close to graduation and remain very interested in their organizations.
- When you land an internship – and later, a job, be sure to write one more note to all your contacts telling them about your new venture.
Also visit our networking resources to find valuable tools and resources.