Networking can get a bad rep. Some people automatically associate it with people who are only concerned with, "what's in it for them." And that is the way that some people network. However, networking at its core is about building connections. Here are a few ways I went about networking this summer:
1. Talk to your friends
In talking to other interns this summer, I realized that they were doing work that excited me. My friends were then willing to introduce me to people in that department. I'd connect with people in that department and they'd tell me that I really should talk to so-and-so. The cycle continued until I'd met a host of wonderful people who helped me learn more about what I wanted from a career.
2. Get out there
The corporate world is a lot like high school. There are all of these extracurriculars to get involved in. I would go to an event with the goal of finding one person who I would like to get to know more. Later we would meet at Starbucks and chat.
3. Use your time
If you already have a meeting scheduled with someone, try to take 5 minutes to ask them about their story. How long have they been in their role? What was their career path? What's one piece of advice they have? People were more than willing to share their wisdom with me.
After leaving Allstate, I feel like I made genuine relationships that I plan to continue even when I'm away at school. That's the power of networking.
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