Networking - An Integral Part of Study Abroad
Traditionally, ‘networking’ refers to building a base of contacts for the professional world, but these days’ networks expand into the realm of general acquaintances and even friends. Expanding your network can be a simple as talking to everyone you work with, building relationships with course mates if you’re studying, and keeping in touch with your friendship group as you grow older.
The success of a student life heavily depends on your networking skills. To build any network you have got to interact with people. Start with your classmates, your friends, your instructors and lecturers. It is tempting to go through college unnoticed, sit in the last bench, and attract no attention.
While you study abroad away from your home country, your networks are useful in several different avenues ranging from getting an internship, landing a full-time job, getting you in touch with fellow hobbyists, pursuing your outside interests, or simply just hanging out etc.
Post your education if you are also looking forward to pursuing a career or look for opportunities, it is these networks that will help you. It is imperative to learn the work culture of that country from fellow classmates. If you are keen on pursuing a career in the US, then it is imperative that you understand how the American culture works, understand how business is done in the US. You graduate school provides you with a great sandbox to try things out. All schools have student organizations, make it a point to visit these organizations and join an organization that interests you and you can contribute to. Networking with people in leadership positions in organizations will help you in two ways:
- It will help you better understand how people communicate and interact. It will teach a lot of cultural nuances that cannot be taught; only experienced.
- Student leaders are typically ambitious and driven. They are likely to be valuable contacts for you in the future when you are out building your career, looking for a job, or just looking for some group to pursue your outside interests.
- Do not be afraid to talk to people
- Have a purpose
- Show Interest
- Be Polite
Ensure that you build relationships with a diverse group of people. The more diverse your network is, the better connected you will be in the future. Your life will not revolve around your area of specialization. A diverse network will ensure that you have a pulse on various aspects of your life.