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It’s All about Networking: 5 Ways to Make Connections 

This month we wanted to focus on networking and making connections. It is a necessity nowadays to network to be able to get that amazing internship experience or that job you have been looking for. So without further ado, here are a few tips to help you network.


  1. Linkedin:

With a focus on professional development, LinkedIn is a fantastic platform with which to use. You can connect with fellow peers, colleagues, professors, and industry leaders.  Take advantage of its many features, such as LinkedIn learning, which allows you to learn about a topic or field anywhere from film to business. Additionally, you can post relevant updates, look for jobs,  and share your expertise.


  1. Cold Emailing:

This might seem to be a stretch, yet in actuality, cold emailing can be a great way to connect with a professional in your dream field, gain an internship, or discover a new interest. Researching companies that you are interested in working for, people that you aspire to work for, or alumni from your school is helpful for narrowing down a particular email. Once you find the email, simply draft a message to the designated person. Remember to keep your email succinct and professional. Introduce yourself, discuss your interests, and why connecting with them would be beneficial to you. [This can also be used for sending a message through LinkedIn.]


An example is below:


Dear First and Last Name,


My name is XXX YYY and I am a Third Year studying Film, Television, and Interactive Media. I am passionate about creating change and raising awareness in the world of cinema.


Seeing as you are a professional in this field, (Specify identity eg: in particular a woman of color) I would greatly appreciate having the opportunity to talk with you about your experiences in the industry and hear any advice you have for beginning this journey.


Thank you for your time and consideration. Have a wonderful day.


Sincerely/Cordially/Respectfully,

Your First and Last Name



  1. Talking to Professors about their research background

Office hours are the best way to begin a conversation with your professors. Although the conversation can be about the subject of the class, quite easily you can focus the conversation on their experiences. Some questions you can ask include:


When did you first realize this is what you wanted to do with your life?

What are some challenges you had to navigate? especially as a person of color/woman?

What was your first real-world experience in the industry?

I am interested in XYZ…. Do you have any advice for me?

 

Your professors are often very knowledgeable about the particular field and they can be a great resource for learning more about a career or about their roles outside of teaching. Asking them about their experiences can be a great way to gain insight into potential career paths.



  1. Attending Speaker events:

Often as students, we are all juggling so many different aspects of our lives, from classes, extracurriculars, internships, and jobs to spending time with friends and family. And with our inboxes being influxed by so many different events, we can be easily overwhelmed, one important aspect is speaker events.  Keeping an eye open for speaker events can be quite helpful. Often speakers who are invited talk about their newest books, research, or experience, and this can provide valuable information. Always try to talk to the speaker after the event, because you’ll be making an impression as an interested student who takes initiative. They will also be more likely to remember you if you send them a message on Linkedin or through email stating you met at an event.



  1. Career fairs

If your university has career fairs, this is the easiest way to directly meet with recruiters of potential careers you’ll gain. There is never a time that is too early, even as a first year you can go to these events. Through these events, you can build rapport with some of the recruiters and also learn about companies or organizations you might be interested in interning for or working for. For the upperclassmen, always dress professionally, print out several copies of your resume, and be prepared to talk about yourself and your relevant experience.



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