The Benefits of Networking: A Student Perspective

As students, we’re always being told about the importance of networking, but sometimes its true value gets lost in translation. With the hustle and bustle of student life, it can be tough to fit networking events into your schedule; however, the students who manage to fit them in have found great success with these opportunities. A current Bentley senior, Ashton Kille, has had a particularly beneficial networking experience throughout his time at Bentley. Let’s hear what he has to say about the benefits of expanding his network!

Networking has provided me with insight into my desired industry, as well as contacts to help me make an entrance into the industry. Any networking opportunity is one that should be taken advantage of. Whether we like it or not our experience as college students is minuscule compared to industry professionals. Through the countless discussions with professionals, I have found my desired career path. I highly suggest having conversations with professionals about career choices, especially if you are struggling with your desired career path. Due to their familiarity with the current job markets, I have found conversations with young professionals most valuable. They can provide information regarding their time in our positions, which allows us to learn what worked and what did not work for them.

The second reason, and most sought out reason for networking, is landing a job. Every meaningful conversation you have with a professional should be followed up, because the reality is the more people you know, the better. Networking at events should just be the beginning of building a relationship. Continue the relationship for as long as the professional desires. If an employee at a firm you applied to can say that they know you, it will help a great deal. You will not be able to get a job from your dorm room, the most common avenue for landing a job is personal networking. Do not waste opportunities that could amount to landing a job, thus you need to make an effort to attend as many networking events as you can.

My desired industry blends sustainability and finance, which is very niche-oriented. In order to pursue this passion, I seek out any opportunities relating to this industry in the surrounding area. The career services office helps with this process and encourages students to capitalize on the opportunities provided in the Greater Boston Area. These events prove to be the most beneficial to me, as I can learn about industry trends and meet peers in the industry. Every time I attend networking events I leave with a feeling of success because I know I was more productive toward the goal of finding the right job than anything I could have done from my dorm room or the library.

Be sure to check CareerEdge for upcoming networking events that relate to your desired industry, as well as schedule an appointment or attend drop-ins with your dedicated career advisor for more advice on networking opportunities!

By Caroline Gervais
Caroline Gervais Student Director, CareerEdge & Event Planning Team Caroline Gervais