Written By: Victoria Grijalva, PfC Student Leader
March 5, 2015 I attended the STEM Winter Mixer, hosted by the Institute for STEM Education. When one entered, there was a table where you signed in and received a raffle ticket. After, you were able to grab a refreshment and some pizza. Many students sat down at the tables with their food and began to speak to others about the courses they were were currently taking and what there major is. The environment was very comfortable and there was no pressure of an agenda. Two separate professionals came at different times during the event to speak to students and offer their professional insight. Students enjoyed the two guests speaker. Several students asked great questions to each of the professionals.
Anything from how they got into their field to what internship/job opportunities were available at their company. One of the special speakers who came, James E.T Jackson from Alameda Health System, was helpful because he was very opened with his personal experiences in his career. He answered every questioned asked of him and gave students his business card so they could contact him in the future. He also offered to make connects between the students and his colleagues who can help in other areas of student interests. During the mixer there was raffles where students we able to win a STEM bag filled with goodies. Bags included post-it booklet, notebook and a water bottle, which encouraged the students to stay longer. Students dropped in and out of the mixer which went from 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm. It was a great experience to converse with other students. I was able to connect and learn about students that had majors outside of my own and learn about different careers paths of people with science degrees. It was great to speak to other students that I have never met and get their opinions on things that I lacked experience in Overall the mixer was a great and I would attend another one in the future.
Missed the last mixer. Sign up for the Spring STEM Mixer Here!
When students first begin their undergraduate degrees, they may think that obtaining their degree will be enough to have the kind of career they want. While earning a degree is a huge accomplishment, often other factors play into getting a first job.
A few months after graduation, some students find themselves tired of searching job ads to no avail. New graduates often have no idea where to find the job they really want. This is where networking comes in.Often a person in student’s network can help with job leads, introduce a student to an important person, or open doors to new positions.
Here are some tips for building a network while you are in school.
Join a group -- Most colleges have student organizations or groups that students can join. Everything from marketing, and business clubs, to the drama club, and sororities or fraternities are available for students to connect and share a common goal. While in the groups the students get to learn about and discuss ideas that are important to them. The people in these group often form bonds that last well beyond the college years, and can be useful in the future.
Intern -- During an internship, a student works for a company, usually for free, in order to gain real world experience in their chosen field. A student would learn what really goes into having the type of career they want to have. While working in the internship, it is possible to develop friendships and contacts that would be helpful later during a job search.
The manager of an internship would also be a great resource when the student needs a professional reference. The manager would be able to speak to the student’s ability to work in the real world, have good attendance, and excel on the job.
Volunteer -- Volunteering is a fast way to meet like-minded people who share similar goals. There are many volunteer opportunities from animal care to literacy tutoring. Through volunteering a student is able to make a difference in the world, while making connections that may last a lifetime.
If the director of an organization sees how passionate a student is about working for an important cause, they will be sure to remember that when the student is seeking work.
Attend Networking Events -- There are many networking events that are held outside of school that a student could attend. Based on what interests a student, they can attend events that focus on various subjects. Everything from public speaking, to creative writing, and business, can be studied outside of school through networking events and conferences.
These networking events usually have hundreds of people involved. This offers the student the opportunity to meet, and get to know people from various career levels. When it is time for the student to begin looking for work, they can reach out to their contacts for job leads.
Network Online -- Social media has made it possible to network with people in all types of industries all over the world. A student should always use social media wisely. Be careful about what is posted online. The online presence should be one that is professional, and speaks to a student’s good qualities.
Following people who work in the field they want to be in, is a good way to build up a network. The student can learn so much just from following people already in the field. When the time is right the student can even reach out to people online for job leads.
There are many ways to network. A student will get much further in their career search if they have many options for job leads, and professional references.
Try one of these networking ideas today!