Networking in college is more important than you think. As a college student, you shouldn’t undermine the significance of cultivating relationships with your batch mates, seniors as well as your juniors. While clearing your exams and getting a degree is crucial, you also need to focus on networking with others in your field as it will open doors for opportunities in the future.

Here’s why networking at the college level is a must!

1. Referrals through networking in college:  

Referrals are important when you start looking for a job. The contacts that you have so painstakingly built over the last few years, will give you an upper-hand in your industry. Referrals also help highlight skills like building connections and interpersonal relationships.

2. Mentors who are friends:

If you’ve cultivated good contacts in your college years, you can be sure that they’ll help you every step of the way, be it in your personal or professional life. The advice given to you by your networking connections will help you become familiar with the high points and pitfalls of your potential career. This, in turn, will help you make more informed decisions.

3. Exchange of fresh ideas:

With the advent of the internet, each field is evolving rapidly. If you want to survive in your field and be successful, you need to stay updated with the changes. However, there will be times when you miss out on an important update. What then? If you have a strong network, there will be exchange of important information and fresh ideas and this will ensure you stay on top of things.

4. Expression of opinions: 

Unlike with your family, you don’t have to censor your thoughts while expressing your opinions to your network in college. From discussing industry-related matters to seeking support in them, the contacts you build at the college level will last a lifetime, if nurtured well.

5. Boosts self esteem:

The more people you know and the more you start feeling like an integral part of a close-knit group, the better your self-esteem fares. Being asked to voice your opinion and getting respect and applause for the ideas you share, can be quite a social thrill.

Networking in college is the road-map to creating new opportunities in life. A professional network can help your career in several ways, right from getting a job to leveraging a raise. However, for that you need to be willing to step out of your comfort zone. Once you have managed to do that, make sure to invest in these relationships throughout your career.