By: Ellie Shulman
When college students complete their degrees, the advice that they are repeatedly given is to build their social network. Although this is straightforward advice, networking can often become a daunting task. What can recent graduates do in order to build a strong professional network?
I was recently volunteering at DonorsChoose.org when board member Yvette Nicole Brown was addressing the staff. The advice that she gave her attendees has had an immense impact on how I perceive networking.
Ms. Brown stressed, “There is no door that is going to open for you that is not supposed to open for you. So never doubt why you are in a room. You are in a room because you are supposed to be in a room. That’s just it. Own it”
These words resonated with me tremendously. Since that day, I have been working hard to put myself in ‘the room’ in order to create new experiences for myself and grow my professional network.
So how can college students put themselves in ‘the room’ to build their social networks and achieve success?
One way to do this is through volunteering at a nonprofit that they support.
The reason for this is that volunteering allows individuals to be invited into situations that they would not have been otherwise. Volunteering is also a great way for graduates to meet people from different backgrounds who also support a cause that they care about.
Through this experience, recent graduates have an opportunity to put themselves in ‘the room’ and build a strong professional network.