What is “networking”?

What is networking?

The goal of networking is to create and maintain relationships, over time, with people that could provide you advice, information, and possible leads to internships, full-time jobs, or research experiences.

For some, the thought of networking can stir up concern or anxiety. As long as you lead with curiosity when engaging with individuals you have targeted, you can replace feelings of worry with excitement.

Networking is NOT ASKING FOR A JOB/INTERNSHIP. Networking is about LEARNING about a person and pathway that interests you, and building genuine relationships in the process.

Networking should be about learning from others including things like:

  • How a person has gotten to where they are in their career
  • Insights into employers/workplace culture
  • Trends within career fields
  • Suggested strategies for you to achieve success in your chosen career path
  • Job search resources, tips on interview preparation, and more.

Remember that networking is a two-way street. While it may start with you asking lots of questions, experiences you are having across your college experience may prove useful or interesting to the person you are speaking with. Keep in mind that Colby alumni, of course, like to hear updates and thoughts about campus and your experience.

Be cognizant of cultural backgrounds and values. As you connect with others, be mindful of the fact that they may have similar or different cultural backgrounds, experiences, and values than you.

Check out our DavisConnects Networking Guide for more!

By David Ding
David Ding Advisor for STEM Professions