By Leanne Aira Villanueva

Networking is about building meaningful relationships with others in your field, school, or workplace, and using those relationships to create opportunities for yourself and others.

Here are some helpful tips for networking effectively:

1. Lay out your networking goals: Be specific about what you want to achieve through networking—for instance, finding a new job, building partnerships, or finding a mentor.

2. Attend networking events: Look for events in your school or work, such as conferences and work workshops. TC NEXT hosts “Learn & Connect” events, which are a great way to grow and leverage your network. It takes place during the school year and is held on campus and virtually. 

3. Be friendly and approach others with a smile. Be open to conversation and show genuine and sincere interest in others. 

4. Always prepare to have an elevator pitch: You never know who you end up meeting, so it is good to have a brief introduction prepared that highlights your skills, experiences, and goals.

5. Be sure to always follow up after meeting: In order to build and maintain relationships over time, follow up with an email or a LinkedIn message to keep in touch. 

6. Offer something in return/assistance: To build trust and goodwill, you can offer to help others with their projects and goals without expecting anything in return. 

7. Use social media: Platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter are powerful tools to expand your network, connect with others, and share your knowledge and expertise.

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