September 30, 2016 at 3:59 pm

Networking Tips for Sociology & Anthropology Students

By Rachael Ridout

A big part of the Sociology & Anthropology Department is knowing how to network, one class that Ohio University does not offer.

This concept is introduced, to some as early as high school, but most of us are never taught or given tips on how to network. So what is networking? Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines networking as “the exchange of information or services among individuals, groups, or institutions; specifically: the cultivation of productive relationships for employment or business.” As simple as this may seem, some do not even know where to begin.

Why Network?

Networking can help students land that summer internship or practicum they have been struggling to find. It also gives an opportunity to learn from others—such as what they did to become successful or some mistakes that can be avoided. What is better than free career advice from someone who has been there? Networking is a win-win for everyone, even if he or she is the one helping someone else out. Looking at the future, networking could even help get a grant that an agency may need to finish or start a project.

Get Talking

For some, busting out of their bubble is the first step. This is one of the biggest pieces of advice that can be given. Start making acquaintances with the people around or in classes. Networking starts when one makes it happen. One opportunity for internships that has been offered to someone may not be right for them but could be passed on to others better suited for it. Plus who knows? That one student in math class from freshman year, he or she may become a CEO of a huge company and have a position open up. Sharing snacks may pay off in the long run.

Advisers and Professors

Searching for an internship and can’t seem to catch a break? Remember those advisers everyone is given the first year? Talk to them. Go meet and talk to them as soon as possible. Do not be afraid to ask them questions either. They are advisers and are there to guide students. They are bound to know someone in the field who can help or is even in the line or work that one may want to do. Some may even have compiled a list of businesses that partner with the school or department, but students will never know if questions are not asked. They may even be able to put students in contact with alumni who have been through the program and graduated. Make an appointment with advisers and ask them any questions. Even students who are ambivalent about what specific field they want to work in, professors may be able to help push them in the right direction.

Career Fairs and Events

This is another great way to find more networks, even if one is not quite ready to enter the career field. Here students will find many new prospective employers. Students are able to meet with owners or representatives that can give insight on what they are looking for in an employee. This is a great time to learn how to better prepare for the field, get business cards, and make connections. The Career & Leadership Development Center hosts several events throughout the year students can attend.

Extra Tips

Some extra tips are some pretty basic guidelines to follow. Having a pen and paper to take note of the qualities employers are looking for or any other tidbit one may learn. Go to events dressed to succeed. Some never know when they may be given an opportunity for a job or internship. Using websites like LinkedIn (join the College of Arts & Sciences group) is another way to build a resume and send to others. Show interest and ask questions. Asking questions like “How did you get started in the field?” or “What do you like most about working for your company?” are some great questions to ask. The last tip is to be engaged and have fun. Go to places and events and participate and learn. Do not just sit in the back of the room or walk around the tables and not talk to anyone. Go and make friends and lifelong acquaintances.

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