Making Meaningful Connections in a Digital World

Making Connections Blog

It’s undeniable that our lives are becoming more digital every day. We use our devices to read the news, interact on social media, pay our bills, stay in touch with family and friends, and even take classes and apply for jobs.

Since our futures will be abundant with digital interactions, it’s important to keep practicing the human ones, and hone the interpersonal skills that will get you ahead of the game, no matter what industry you’re pursuing.

Here are some reasons it’s important to connect with your professors, engage with your classmates and network with industry professionals –in the real world.

Get to Know Your Professor

Even if you’re not a student who likes to sit in the front row each class or answer every question, you can still take time to introduce yourself and foster a good relationship with your instructors.

Get to class a few minutes early to introduce yourself or send an email if you’re completely virtual. Professors want you to succeed, both in their class and after graduation. Making a good impression early on will make you a memorable student –for 16 weeks and for years down the road. Your professors are great resources for career advice as well as letters of recommendations for jobs or internships.

Getting to know your professor will also allow you to feel more comfortable engaging during class discussion and approaching them for help with assignments or preparing for a test (which you should definitely do).

Get Involved on Campus

There are many ways you can network throughout your college experience that will springboard you into internships, your first job and career.

If you’re unsure of how to find networking opportunities, first find the best way you can get involved on campus. Your local college’s events pages, social media accounts and career center will promote campus events. Whether you’re interested in bake sales, festivals, career fairs or networking events, Virginia’s Community Colleges’ campuses are buzzing with activities for you to participate in. Clubs are another way to get involved, contribute to campus life and even take on leadership roles.

Network with Industry Professionals

Beyond campus life, consider reaching out to G3 ambassadors or other businesses in your area. Schedule a quick virtual or­ in-person meeting to find out what working at their company looks like, what skills they look for in employees and what internships and jobs they may have open. Even if they don’t have positions open at that time, it’s great to make connections for future opportunities. You may even be inspired to follow a path you had never considered before.

Establish an Online Presence

Finally, we’ve come full circle. Nowadays, it’s crucial to establish an online presence through LinkedIn and other social media accounts. Showcase your skills and celebrate your academic and professional achievements while giving people a way to find you after meeting you in person. And while making the first move can be intimidating in person, being online may give you the confidence to start the conversation.

As you juggle your schoolwork on top of a busy life, networking and making connections with your professors and cohorts may be the farthest thing from your mind, but you should do your best to make it a priority. While technology may be constantly changing, being able to interact and communicate well will never go out of style.