Mastering the Art of Networking: From Student to Professional

We’ve all heard the saying at one point or another,

“It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.”

That’s because it rings so true. It’s the reason why mastering the art of networking plays an such an important role in building your career. Creating professional connections provides unique opportunities for you to build lasting relationships, exchange information, and boost your overall professional growth. For students especially, this skill can be particularly beneficial in paving the way to finding mentorship, career guidance, and future job prospects. So whether your graduation is around the corner or still a few years away, it is never too early to start building your professional network.

Not sure where to even start? You’ve come to the right place. We’ve come up with 7 effective ways guaranteed to help you successfully navigate the world of networking:

Attend Networking Events

Attending networking events hosted by universities, professional organizations, industry associations, and alumni networks is a valuable strategy for students. These events provide opportunities for you to meet potential mentors, employers, and peers in your field of interest. By actively participating in workshops, seminars, and mixers, you can expand your professional network and gain valuable insights into your chosen field. Check your university’s career center website for upcoming events or career fairs to attend. With everything shifting towards the online world, you also research if there are virtual webinars or forums pertaining to your field that you can join in from the comfort of your home.

the Art of Networking job fairs

The Power of Social Media

Beyond the likes and memes of the digital world, social media platforms, such as LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook, actually play a crucial role in networking. You can create professional profiles on LinkedIn, highlighting your skills, experiences, and career aspirations. Joining industry-specific groups and participating in discussions allows you to connect with professionals in your field and stay updated on industry trends. Engaging with these professionals on social media can open many doors for you in the future and provide exclusive opportunities for collaboration.

the Art of Networking through social media

Reach Out to Alumni

Alumni networks are a fantastic resource for students seeking mentorship and career advice. You can leverage your university’s alumni network to connect with graduates working in your desired field or industry. Requesting informational interviews or even coffee chats with alumni allows you to learn about their professional journey, experiences, and any advice they have going into the industry. Alumni are often eager to support fellow students and can provide invaluable guidance and connections from their first-hand experience.

Tip: Always prepare for any chats with alumni professionals ahead of time. Research the person you’re going to meet, their company, and what they do there. This helps the conversation flow smoothly and shows you genuinely care.

Volunteer and Get Involved

Volunteering for student organizations, clubs, or community service projects is an excellent way to expand your network and demonstrate your leadership skills. By taking on leadership roles or participating in projects aligned with your interests and career goals, you can showcase your skillset and prove your worth to potential future employers. Plus, it looks fantastic on your résumé.

the Art of Networking through volunteering

Cultivate Authentic Relationships

Networking is all about building genuine relationships based on trust, respect, and mutual benefit. You should approach networking with a genuine interest in getting to know others and offering support wherever possible. Actively listening, asking thoughtful questions, and showing appreciation for others’ contributions are essential components of building authentic relationships. Following up with any new contacts after networking events helps maintain and nurture these connections over time. (Hint: You can do this through social media as well!)

the Art of Networking handshake

Be Confident and Assertive

Confidence and assertiveness are essential qualities for students when networking. Don’t hesitate to introduce yourself, initiate conversations, and share your accomplishments and aspirations. Projecting confidence and professionalism helps you make a positive and lasting impression to stand out from the crowd.

Seek Out Mentors and Role Models

In addition to building a diverse network of professional contacts, you should also seek out mentors and role models. Mentors can offer incredible insight into navigating the workplace, overcoming challenges, and achieving career success. There are many mentorship programs or initiatives specifically geared towards supporting women in the industry, such as Dream Mentorship or Ok Mentor. These are excellent resources for any female students seeking guidance and support.

Learn more about the importance of finding a mentor and the positive impact it can make on your career.


We cannot stress the importance of networking not only students, but anyone, looking to advance their careers and build meaningful professional connections. Now is the time to take a step out of your comfort zone. Attend events, meet up with like-minded professionals and alumni, get active on social media, and join clubs and organizations. Your future self will thank you.


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