Networking is the process of building connections and forming a professional community.
If you’ve ever kept in touch with a former teacher or supervisor, gone to a professor’s office hours, talked with a family friend about your major, or made conversation with someone on a plane, you’ve participated in a form of networking. In addition to these interactions, we encourage you to utilize Tufts resources and connections to take a strategic, professional approach. Connecting with people who share professional interests can help you learn more about majors, career paths, internships, jobs, graduate school, and more.
- You must be extroverted to network successfully.
Fact: Networking often involves one-on-one conversations, rather than large, formal events with many people present. Those opportunities exist as well, but they are not the only form of networking.
- You need to have connections and I don’t have any.
Fact: As a Tufts student, you do have connections. You have Tufts alumni, professors, and fellow students; all of whom have their own personal networks to share.
- No one will want to meet with me.
- You should only talk to people at senior levels.
Fact: Recent graduates are very familiar with entry-level positions and the interview process. Fellow students also volunteer to share information about internships through our Tufts Internship Profiles (TIP) database.
Benefits of Networking
Networking can help you to:
- Build confidence in communicating professionally
- Explore industries through an insider’s perspective
- Identify career-related skills and experiences
- Develop personal criteria to make career choices
- Improve interview skills through conversations
- Expand your circle of connections in fields of interest
- Learn about jobs and internships with target employers
- Give back by advising others
A career conversation or informational interview is a networking meeting where you can learn more about a particular career path, industry, job function, or organization. These conversations can take place in person, on the phone, or via Zoom or another video platform. It can be one of the most valuable ways to network because it can provide you with an intimate, insider’s perspective that other sources cannot replicate.
This flash mentoring program is designed to provide real-world, beyond-the-classroom exposure, helping students build relationships with industry professionals by connecting current students with Tufts alumni, parents, and friends in mentoring relationships.