What is networking?
Networking should be viewed as an information- sharing activity and should not be viewed as a one-time contact. The best networking relationships are those that are developed and maintained over time. Informational interviews are a great way to learn more from professionals with whom you've connected.
Networking is not "using" people!
Networking is about relationships and sharing information. You don't have to be great friends with someone in order to network with them- and they aren't expecting to become your best friend.
Ever recommend your favorite restaurant in Gettysburg to a family friend visiting the town? Indirectly, this was networking- making a connection over something you shared in common (the town of Gettysburg) and sharing your knowledge (where to get a great dinner).
How should I network while I'm in college?
This is a great time to network. The next time you're talking with a friend's parent, find out more about what they do. If you're at a college-hosted event with alumni or parents, talk with them about their careers. The more people you meet while in college, the more opportunities you will have to make connections when you're looking for jobs.
Should I reach out to previous employers, even if it was a summer job or internship?
At the end of any internship, summer job or job shadowing experience, you should always leave with the contact information for any supervisors or people with whom you'd like to connect with in the future. These people could possibly serve as references for jobs or graduate study. They may also help to introduce you to their colleagues and friends in other career areas, further expanding the reach of your network.
How do I network if I'm looking at graduate school?
Talk with your professors (from various departments) about their own graduate study. Remember, they also have their own network of friends, colleagues and former students to help you make connections. Ask if there are any Gettysburg graduates they know of studying in fields related to your interests, or maybe even at the specific schools to which you're applying. Find out about and attend on-campus lectures so that you can introduce yourself to faculty from a variety of graduate schools. Be sure to get their contact information and send a thank you email after their presentation.
I'm moving to a new city! What should I do?
Before you move, reach out to your colleagues, friends and others in your network to see if they can connect you with people in your new city. Even getting a contact to ask about good ideas for housing or insights into a new community can help to make this transition easier.
In addition to contacts you will be building through a new job or graduate study. there are ways in which you can build a larger network of contacts in a new place. Check out the Gettysburg College Alumni Club in the area. Get involved or volunteer with community organizations. Be sure to update your LinkedIn profile with your new career information and location.