Professional success is a common goal amongst members of the working class. Forbes highlights the importance of the quote “no man is an island” and how it has proved to be particularly important in one’s journey to achieving professional success. This phrase emphasises the necessity of a collective effort in the process of an individual achieving professional success. According to Forbes’ article “10 Reasons Why Networking Is Essential For Your Career”, having strong networking channels has been one of the main contributing factors to many individuals’ successful careers.
According to Senior Faculty Student Advisor Farhana Hassan, networking is the process of interacting and sharing information with people both professionally and socially: it is creating a network of peers, mentors, professors, and industry connections that could aid in current and future career goals. As students, our university experience is centred around academics and obtaining a qualification. It is, however, also the perfect opportunity to begin one’s professional development through networking.
Students are constantly encountering potential colleagues, employers, clients, and professors with industry experience with whom they can easily exchange information. At UP, students are offered multiple opportunities to interact with others beyond the classroom. UP offers Career Services, which focuses on providing students with support and hosting various employability-related initiatives. Hassan mentioned that UP offers multiple services such as career fairs, graduate recruitment events, advertising job opportunities, specialist webinars, one-on-one employability assistance and articles related to ready-for-work and employability practices.
There are many benefits to networking, especially as a student, according to Oxford Summer Courses’ post “8 Benefits of Networking for Students”. Some of the main benefits of networking with industry people at career fairs and recruitment events include: building confidence, learning about the latest industry developments, career advice, strengthening industry connections, being noticeable and new job opportunities. Reaping the full extent of these benefits became more difficult during the COVID-19 outbreak, specifically with the shift to distant learning and remote work which forced people to remain isolated in their respective homes. The opportunities to easily network with people decreased, thereby making networking more difficult. UP took the necessary measures to ensure that most of the opportunities afforded to students were still available during this time. They have made all career fairs and recruitment events virtual, allowing students to continue to create network channels that they could use to launch their careers as graduates and in their future careers.
Networking is an ongoing process, and one for which it is never too early to start. As students who have more free time to attend various events where one can meet people, it is important to start as early as possible. Since it plays a vital role in one’s professional career, the benefits go beyond attaining job opportunities. Some of the best ways for students to network while they complete their studies include utilising the career services offered, actively engaging with relevant faculty, talking with recent graduates, and getting an internship. It is important to take advantage of the opportunities offered by the university, especially because they will no longer be available to students once they graduate.
Photos: Madeeha Hazarvi