How Will Your Connections, Connect You?

The Academist

Networking for a brighter tomorrow

Networking is a very important part of career advancement, and a key aspect in maintaining a successful business. For an endeavor to thrive through all times and regions, there is a need that it be networked. Spending time with a single business without networking could lead to a lack of flow in profit and, the general trend in promoting the business.

Simply put, networking is the extracurricular act of meeting new people and sharing with them your business ideas for them to help you develop, or to subscribe to, or to network further.

For international students, coming to a foreign country poses its downsides; in this aspect you may not have any connections, or know many people in general. This is why the vital skill of networking, branding yourself, and having the will attitude to put yourself out there, cannot be enforced enough.

Let’s first talk about the overwhelming feeling of being apprehensive, or feeling totally lost in your new environment. Many things are easier said than done; and practices on paper seem easier read, than they are implemented; but on this new journey you have embarked on, you are presented with a new opportunity to broadcast yourself, in order for people to see what you bring to the table.

In the US and Canada, foreign students have a more challenging time getting into the workforce; ofcourse, for obvious reasons. The process, time, and sometimes the fee to obtain work permit, often known as the Curriculum Practical Training (CPT) or Optional Practical Training (OPT), as the case may pertain to each student.

Networking could be of great advantage in this aspect, information-wise. Personal relationships have been known to get people into the right places, at the right time; or as often said sometimes, “it’s all about who you know, not what you know.” Developing personal relationships with people who are in positions that could later enlighten you, and even open doors for you, is the best way to have a successful journey abroad.

It is important to know that Professors, Councilors, Advisors, and other staff at school are great people to get to know beyond the classroom. Keep in mind to still remain professional, but ensuring faculty know who you are, and have a good rapport with you; could help you academically, along with allowing you to be considered for positions of employment on campus, or recommendation to potential employers.

Confidence, one personality trait that almost all, successful people posses; why, you might ask. It shows exhibit the tenacity and focus within you, it says you’re honest, knowledgeable, and capable. With confidence, doors can be open, that otherwise may have been closed. When networking, you may not have all the skills,  or academic history; but with confidence, others will believe in you, and in return put their trust in you.

Both the U.S. and Canada are filled with people from all walks of life, and almost every comer of the world; don’t allow yourself to feel intimidated, or shy that you might have an accent, or even speak another language. Allow these traits to show your uniqueness, when meeting new people and networking. Connecting and interacting with people will help you gain the resolve needed to excel.  

Many successful people today, have used networking to help themselves build their way into environments and platforms with many opportunities.

Networking allows you to have a great source of connection. As connecting is the main aim of the endeavor, and as stated before, living abroad literally requires you to connect and engage with various people. Furthermore, it may not just be all about the network connections you have directly established for yourself; the connections you have established, connects you to the people connected to them. Allowing you access to have different streams of networks you can tap into, to enlarge your scope, or narrow it, if situation calls for so. Which means that it may not be who you know as of current, but who the person knows. So, the question will be if the connections you have, possess the connections you need.

The more influential people you have built a lasting connection with; will help you get first hand advice and wisdom from an expert. Networking is a great way to tap into a great deal of expertise that you probably will not be able to get hold of on normal grounds. The simple math is that right person was once in the same position you are, and so stands, in a better position to point you in the right direction.

Friendship, projects, referrals, sponsorships, other connections, and fundraising are what you stand to benefit from networking as well. Through yours, others can start building up; invest in yourself, and that of your future! Network today, for a greater tomorrow!