Networking. We all have taken part in a form of networking, mainly online.
If you have a Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or even MySpace, you have been a part of the social network. You update your status so everyone knows how great you did on the test or not so great. Personally, I don’t want to be apart of this kind of networking.
This past week, I had the opportunity to go to a conference in sunny San Antonio. I got to enjoy the River Walk and explore the city, sipping on margaritas. But this is not why I went there. I went to meet people in my career field. There were over 5,000 people at this conference.
I was exposed to over 50 companies and 5,000 people in a three-day span. This was overwhelming, yet so beneficial. I learned a lot about my career field from what I could do and where I could do it.
This conference was well worth my time and money. If conferences were more affordable, I would tell every student to attend one before he or she graduates. You get your name out there and learn so much about where you may be heading.
This face to face experience is not like finding someone online. I got to have an actual meaningful conversation with them. I passed out business cards and received some in return.
Several companies told me to apply now for a job; it was a basic job offer. The professionals loved seeing the students there. They got to hear my story and my personality showed through unlike it would online.
I learned more than I could imagine or thought. I could not be shy. I had to confront many people and show my knowledge with confidence. This wore me down because I am not used to selling myself.
This conference taught me a lot and opened up my eyes to endless possibilities.
Do yourself a favor and don’t get stuck behind a screen. Let yourself be known–it will be worth your time and effort.