Networking 101: 4 Things Every College Freshman Must Do NOW

College Students Job SearchWow, it’s almost the end of September!

The leaves are changing, Fantasy Football teams are drafted, and our backpacks are packed for school.

If you’re a college freshman, you’re probably in classes like Math 101, Communications 101, and maybe even Bowling 100, and maybe even some
online university curriculum. The classes you take now are going to help you get a job in the future.

There’s another class that you’ll need to take before setting off into the working world. This one is not in your course book, but don’t worry. It’s time for you to take Networking 101.

With networking skills, your chances of getting a job after graduation are exponentially higher.

Here are four networking activities every college freshman should do now:

Get a business card

As an 18-year-old, you might be wondering why the heck you’d need a business card. After all, what do you even put on it? Today, business cards are becoming more and more prominent for undergrads. Put in a few bucks and buy yourself some cards for that internship interview that’s coming up or a networking event around the corner. Start building your personal brand today and stand apart from your peers when you network.

Connect with a professor

You might have four years ahead of you, but it’s never too soon to start making worthwhile connections for future references and letters of recommendation. Not only will you get more out of that class you’re in right now, but you never know when you’ll see that professor again. And, a connection with your professor shows enthusiasm for the field and may earn you an introduction to a company for an internship opportunity.  Beats flipping burgers and burning fries in that menial summer job back home.

Join a club

Your school probably has a ton of opportunities for students who want to get involved. Between social organizations, philanthropic clubs, and professional groups, you’ll find something right for you. Find a group that you can stick with for the duration of your school years—it’ll look great on your resume and it’s the best way to start honing your networking skills!

Go professional

What does this mean, exactly? Up until now, you’ve probably identified yourself as a teenager, just a kid, or a “playa.” Come graduation-time, you’ll find you cannot be a “player” if you’re not in the game.  Develop your professional image now. The new professional you needs a professional email (no more, a professional voicemail greeting, a resume, and at least one professional outfit.

Check out: College Freshmen: 5 Things to Do Now to Help You Get a Job Later

Work on these four basic tasks throughout freshman year and you’ll be light-years ahead of your peers!

What other ways can college freshmen jumpstart their professional networking skills?

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