“I walk a lonely road” might be a good tune to hum, but it should in no way be your mantra at college! For international students, especially for those studying at the University of Sydney, there are plenty of ways to connect with other students, faculty and others to build your network and boost your networking skills while you’re there. The Education Post has listed down the best and most effective ways of networking just for you!
Yes. It is as simple as that. If you are dazed and do not know where to begin, head over to your campus career centre which is like the mothership for international students. The career centre like the one at the University of Sydney can guide you to the right student organizations, study departments, clubs and anything else you need information about.
Whether you’re a natural, or the most awkward, introverted individual, practice will make you perfect. With professors, seek guidance on matters that genuinely interest you. With other students, try to establish a common area of interest so you can find easy companions in your pursuit right from the start!
Personal branding is a concept that is more significant than organizational brands today. With internet and social media, it is extremely easy to build your personal brand online through which you can communicate with countless individuals and build your network. LinkedIn for example, is one of the best places to begin.
Look outside of your regular classes to connect with faculty on campus as they might be associated with a field that interests you. It could be a mutual interest in an extra-curricular activity, a soft skill, an art or anything else. This way you can build connections not only on campus but also outside.
Another great way to begin is to ask those who you already know, maybe a family member or friend, to introduce you to others. Since the people you already know are familiar with your personality and know a little bit about you, it gives you an easier ground to base yourself. They will also eagerly guide you when you need and will also be easy to approach.
Most often as students, we tend to mindlessly mingle with the first people we meet. While this is good to keep yourself socially entertained, it is more important to seek out the right crowd or individuals that you genuinely would like to establish a connect with. Don’t hesitate to approach them and confidently express your interest in building a friendly foundation.
Campuses in Australia like that of the University of Sydney are brimming with events day and night. Keep track of relevant upcoming events where you can meet like-minded individuals and evolve as a young professional. Events are also the best places to sharpen your networking skills.
You do not always have to meet people with a common agenda. Regular college get-togethers, hang outs and gatherings are a great way to bond with fellow students without the pressure of a goal or a meeting subject. So, get out there, have some fun and make new friends!
There are a number of opportunities international students miss out on by not taking up tasks unless asked to. Volunteering at events, clubs and even organizations can give you great exposure and bring you closer to those who are already a part of an establishment you would like to join. Never shy away from volunteering especially in a field you are interested in.
The last and perhaps the most important step is to continuously nurture the relationships you have built while you network. Remember that networking does not mean replacing older connections with new ones, but maintaining all of them while building new ones. Make an extra effort to maintain the connections you have already established.
That’s it! Follow these simple steps towards building your networ and you will see that it is quite an easy, effective and extremely fun thing to do. It is also perhaps the most important skill to learn that will stay with you for life. Happy networking!
Anupama Kumar is a content writer based in Bangalore, India. She writes blogs, stories, articles and social media content and has a passion for helping people and connecting with them through her writing. A professional writer by day and a creative one by night, her own stories, musings, quotes, and poems inspired by her travels are also published on various platforms.
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