Networking While in College Can Foster Career Success

Author: Jarrod Sadulski
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By Dr. Jarrod Sadulski
Faculty Member, Criminal Justice, American Public University

Earning a college education is a major accomplishment. In addition to the valuable knowledge a college education provides, students and recent graduates have professional networking opportunities that can be valuable when you’re seeking employment.

Start a degree program at American Public University.

Professional Networking in College Is Important

It is important not to miss the opportunity to build a professional network while you’re in college. Developing professional networking with college professors is one such important opportunity. Professors who were most helpful during students’ academic careers can assist them in several ways after graduation.

Professors who have taught courses in students’ major field of study can write letters of reference for their former students. As a college professor for the past 10 years, I have had several student requests for reference letters. In them, I’ve highlighted the students’ strengths that I felt would translate well in their career. Those attributes might be their communication, writing or analytical skills.

Reference letters can speak to a student’s dedication to his or her coursework in class. The letters can show prospective employers how the students will be a good fit for their organization.

Networking with Professors Can Provide Career Insights

Networking with professors can also prove helpful by giving students advice about the industry they hope to enter. Professors who are also practitioners in their field of expertise can provide insight into industry trends and help students seeking employment in that field. In addition, students can benefit from industry contacts they make through their professors.

Professors frequently write scholarly articles. Students – especially in graduate programs – might have the opportunity to do research with their professors or even co-author an article with them. Such collaboration gives students valuable writing and academic research skills as well as strengthening their resume by having been published in a professional journal.

Start a degree program at American Public University.

Networking with Professors through LinkedIn

LinkedIn is one of the best ways to stay in contact with professors. LinkedIn profiles are easily searchable. So it is important for students and recent graduates to maintain a professional LinkedIn profile that illustrates their accomplishments for prospective employers.

Professors frequently network with other colleagues and industry experts on this social media platform. Once students connect with their professors on LinkedIn, they can review their current and former instructors’ professional contacts. They can use LinkedIn to connect with the professionals who align with their own career interests.

Staying in touch with fellow students or recent graduates with the same career interests is another important networking opportunity. They can share job-seeking insights, career trends and perhaps even connections with specific employers.

Campus student groups are also an effective way to network and build connections. Students who participate in campus groups gain experience in leadership and group dynamics. These skills can prepare them for similar opportunities in the workforce. Since many college students are seeking a degree to advance their careers,  student group networking can help them climb the corporate ladder.

Networking during and after college provides students with more than just a degree. Professional networks formed in school can help recent graduates take their first steps into the workforce.

About the Author

Dr. Jarrod Sadulski has been a college instructor for over 10 years and has 21 years of experience in the Coast Guard. He also has local law enforcement experience in two local law enforcement agencies where he was a member of the agency’s Crime Suppression Squad and was the agency’s Officer of the Year. Currently, he serves as a Sworn Reserve Deputy at a sheriff’s office in Southwest Florida. His expertise includes infrastructure security, maritime security, homeland security contraband interdiction and intelligence gathering. He has received commendations from the Coast Guard. Currently, Jarrod is a supervisor in the Coast Guard Reserve Program and provides leadership to Reserve members who conduct homeland security, search and rescue, and law enforcement missions.

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Networking While in College Can Foster Career Success

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