Friday, September 12, 2014

#ISFTO - 5 Reasons Networking Matters

Last week we wanted to highlight the importance of multiculturalism and the achievements of Ontario's international student community. This week, we're talking about how the International Students Festival can be a great place to network not only with your fellow students, but also with civic and corporate leaders who will have their own information centres during the event at David Pecaut Square. Your post-secondary years are the perfect time to start network in and out of the fields you're studying, and here's how you can start building a professional network while still in school.

4 Networking Tactics for Post-Secondary Students

1.       Using your Resources

You're often sitting in classrooms full of people that could be using the same degree you're working toward to do something very different. Your classes are often taught by professors who are people at the top of their fields. Most disciplines often notify students of seminars, workshops, and other events that are industry-specific. Take advantage of all these opportunities by introducing yourself to your peers, making sure your professor can single you out in a lecture hall of 500 students, and personally thank event speakers and participants to make yourself stand out.

2.       Get Involved

Networking is about more than just exchanging handshakes and business cards after you've asked about an opportunity. Engage yourself by pursuing volunteer opportunities and finding out how you can get involved or learn more about the things you're interested in doing. Taking a more active role lets you meet people who are actively involved in your interests and goals. Be proactive and get onto the frontlines!

3.       Turn Time-killers into Engagement Opportunities

Facebook. Twitter. Blogging. Let's not kid ourselves – all those things are happening at the same time papers are being written and exams are being studied for. You can use social media to engage professionals in your fields and interests online as easily as communicating with them regularly. Can't volunteer? Keep track of an event's official hashtag to stay on top of news and participate off-site. You can participate in online content sharing at the International Student Festival using the official event hashtag #ISFTO.

4.        Attend the International Students Festival

This year's festival is host to info-booths and information centres for a variety of schools, organizations, civic leaders and corporations, making it the perfect place to put your networking skills to great use while expanding your options both locally and internationally. You'll have the opportunity to speak with representatives throughout the festival, but they aren't the only people you can network with—don't pass up the chance to network with your peers! You'll all be moving forward into new careers and interests together, so make the most of getting to know each other personally and professionally now!

Let the International Students Festival be one of your first steps toward more effective networking. After all, it presents several opportunities to meet a great variety of people from a variety of places for free, so don't miss it!

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