Let's get straight to the topic - here are a few simple things you can do to expand your network:
1. Attend Events. What events? Anything from skill building workshops, organized conferences, networking sessions, informational sessions, club gatherings, fundraisers, trade shows – literally anything that you can find that aligns with your interest & goals. You never know what’s out there until you step outside.
2. Volunteer. Volunteering is a great way to expand your network and perhaps one of the easiest ways to approach people. You will get a chance to meet passionate people in different industries that want to give back to the community. By volunteering for the same cause, you’ve already established the first common interest with other volunteers. This could open up the conversation and make the networking process a lot smoother.
3. Conduct Informational Interviews. Reach out to industry professionals to arrange a short informational interview session. You would get a chance to gain valuable insights and answers to that burning question you have. How to get that informational interview may be a challenge, but hey, we've got your back.
4. Get Active on LinkedIn. Basically a professional social network that provides you a chance to showcase yourself and grow your network. Build your profile, connect with people, and share contents – just like Facebook! The key to being successful on LinkedIn is to be proactive. Don’t wait for things to happen, get out there and make them happen.
5. Use Facebook More. Although not as professional as LinkedIn, Facebook is still a reliable way to expand your network. Join groups, connect with friends, and friends of friends. Again, the trick here is to be proactive.
6. Utilize Your Existing Resources. Take advantage of the fact that you are already part of the school community (or alumni network if you graduated already).You will be amazed at how much information you can find just by looking into your university career services, clubs, or alumni networks.
7. Ask. Ask all your friends, relatives, classmates, professors, colleagues, anyone that you know. Ask if they know someone or if they could refer you or recommend you to talk with someone. This can be done by sending messages and making phone calls at your own home. It’s not going to be any easier than this.