Art by Sybil Zhang
Whether it’s a student’s first or last year at Pepperdine, finding a job after college is always on their radar. From the first semester at Pepperdine, students are encouraged to go to the Career Center, make connections and participate in various internships. It sounds like a daunting task as a freshman and for seniors getting ready to graduate, but knowing how to network with alumni can make the transition out of Pepperdine a bit easier.
Forbes defines networking as “the exchange of information or services among individuals, groups, or institutions” or “the cultivation of productive relationships for employment or business.”
Reaching out to alumni can have a huge impact on the job search. Forbes lists networking and connecting with alumni as the two best ways to find a job. Bumble Bizz, the Career Center and taking risks will pay off in the long run.
To ease nerves surrounding how to network and find a job, follow some of the ideas below.
A resource that students may overlook is the Career Center. The Career Center offers resume workshops, practice interviews and industry specialists to sit and talk to students about their future plans.
The Career Center also provides advice on networking and will teach students how to build a list of connections, reach out to people with a cold email and be further involved in the industries students are interested in.
It is no surprise that networking is how people are getting jobs these days, whether in science industries or communications. It is pertinent to know at least the basics so that students can put themselves in the best positions for their careers.
Pepperdine offers help via the Career Center and alumni outreach, but the other skills students need to learn on their own could put them in positions above those who do the bare minimum.
Pepperdine students are able to network at the touch of their fingertips. By utilizing LinkedIn, students can reach out to alumni and locate alumni based on location, career and company. Students can message alumni, ask for advice and build relationships that can potentially lead to a job.
To build a LinkedIn network, contact the Career Center or read a few articles on how to create an impressive LinkedIn profile.
With the rise in social media, it’s now easier than ever to connect with alumni and build a network. Bumble, which used to be a dating app, launched Bumble Bizz. Bumble Bizz allows women to make the first move by reaching out to people to build connections. The app uses geo-tagging to connect people in the same area and allows users to upload a resume and profile. With the rise of networking apps, there’s no excuse not to connect with alumni to land a dream job.
Call Pepperdine to Action
The best people to network with could be right in here at Pepperdine. Ask professors for their help and for their connections. Professors have created a network for themselves throughout their careers and are usually more that happy to share them with their students. These are opportunities that would be wasted if not taken. The answer is always no if the question isn’t asked.
Also, take advantage of alumni events that major programs at Pepperdine hold for students. Pepperdine hosts events like “Night to Network,” a networking event for Waves to link up for opportunities. The Alumni Association also hosts events like hikes to the Hollywood sign for alumni, which would be perfect events to learn about potential possibilities.
Pepperdine should advertise these events for students as well, as they would open more doors for students to connect with other Waves professionally.
Maintaining networking connections
Once a connection is made, it’s important to keep it. After meeting with someone who provided advice or a professional connection, email them the day after. Thank them for their time and information. While they may be a lost art, thank you notes do not go unnoticed.
Also, follow people on social media. A connection on LinkedIn or a follow on Twitter is a professional and active way to network while communication isn’t constant.
Another small notion that makes an impression is staying after to talk with guest speakers. Staying after to get their contact information and having a little small talk allows opportunities for even more connections to arise.
There is a plethora of resources students at Pepperdine have access to that brings their networking game to the next level. Mastering these skills and taking advantage of these sites boosts careers on connections alone, especially in budding futures straight out of college.
Follow the Pepperdine Graphic on Twitter: @PeppGraphic