Networking is purposefully working towards building professional connections in your chosen career field.  It is intentionally connecting with others to build a network of individuals who can assist you with information about your career field and, in turn, you can do the same throughout different stages of your career.  Networking can be formal (meeting alumni or professionals at a networking event) or informal (talking to the person next to you in line or on a plane).

Benefits of Networking How to Build Your Network
Advice for Networking Additional Information


Benefits of Networking

  • To find out about career fields
  • To find out about opportunities
  • To  learn about a business or organization
  • To gain advice or support with your own decision making and professional growth
  • To build your professional network



How to Build Your Network

Start by identifying potential people to connect with. Make a list of family, friends, and neighbors that you know in careers related to your interests. Ask your parents, co-workers, or others if they have any connections they would be willing to introduce you to, in person or virtually.

Create a LinkedIn profile, join the Gustavus Adolphus College Alumni group and search for individuals at companies you are interested in, who graduated with the same major you are pursuing or who have a career that interests you. Please note, you do not want to connect with every alum on LinkedIn.  LinkedIn is a professional social media site and you want to interact in a professional manner. Find one or two to people to connect with to start. See if you share a mutual LinkedIn connection to introduce you.

Other ways to build your professional network:


Advice for Networking

  • Be polite and keep the conversation relatively short. Be respectful of others time.
  • Be able to explain briefly about your goals and interests.
  • When attending networking events or career fairs, dress professionally in business attire or business casual attire.
  • Practice your elevator speech -- your 30 to 60 second introduction of who you are, what you are studying, and what qualifications or skills you have.
  • Never ask directly for an internship or job.


Additional Information

LinkedIn for Students

How to Network on LinkedIn

Career Development Events

Gustavus Mentoring Program

Vault-- Networking Basics

Updated 5/2/2017 CO