Networking enables students to strengthen career pathways

Matthew Grubin

Networking is essential to finding a job, getting into company events and creating opportunities for oneself, but there are many crucial steps one must follow in this process.

Baruch College’s Starr Career Development Center defines networking as “the process of making informal contacts and building relations that provide you with information, advice, and future contacts,” which can enable students to access unadvertised opportunities and make informed career-related decisions.

For Baruch students seeking mobility, they may take the initiative to put themselves out there. These actions include having an organized LinkedIn profile, emailing recruiters and attending networking events. Most recruiters and talent acquisition managers use LinkedIn to find candidates.

Data from the employment search services platform Zippia showed that 87% of job recruiters say LinkedIn is “the most effective platform for vetting job candidates.”

Zippia also said 65 million “decision-makers,” or those who determine who their company will hire, are present on LinkedIn, while 900 million users are on the job recruitment platform.

Students may also use Handshake, a job search platform they have access to through their enrollment in Baruch.

The minimum one may do to network is to make sure their profile on a job recruitment platform includes important and relevant aspects of themselves, including their work experiences and education.

The Starr Center advises students to make sure their social media profiles, including those on LinkedIn and Instagram, “are appropriately managed since recruiters will check them.”

Reaching out to professionals is where true networking occurs. On LinkedIn, users may use the platform’s direct message function to communicate with professionals, who turn to the platform for news, updates with their connections and recruitment.

Messaging professionals allows one to also acquire insight into their industry and gain information about internship opportunities. Students may receive help and advice from people who are in careers that they want to get into.

It may seem intimidating at first, but after trial and error, it will feel like second nature. Students are encouraged to present their authentic self in these interactions, too.

Most companies also list their contact information on their website, especially recruiters’ information.

Additionally, students can network by contacting professionals via email. Recruiters who receive emails may notice the sender’s initiative and determination to achieve a career-specific goal, which is an important first impression of the student.

Replies may initially be slow, but more responses may come in depending on how an email is sent and who it is received by.

Professionals are more inclined to answer emails written with a personable tone rather than a technical tone. Recruiters from small firms and boutique banks may be more inclined to respond as well.

The company’s showcases, networking events and industry talks are also avenues to expand one’s network. Firms may hold events specifically for students to network among professionals and gain insight into a respective industry.

At these events, students can talk to division-specific professionals to understand some of the modules and technicals they use in their day-to-day operations. It gives insight into what to expect from the industry and company.

Recruiters at these events are crucial to talk to, no matter how quick one’s conversation is with them. Students have a means to initiate an in-person interaction and hopefully, leave a good impression that would encourage the recruiter to remember them later in the application process.

Chatting with other students at networking events also enables one to exchange opportunities and understand what fellow students have done in their search for an internship.

Students should also remember to send a “thank you” note to professionals after these networking experiences to bolster a good impression.

Networking can lead to many places, such as a “bulge bracket” bank that works with large financial entities or a consulting firm. ​​These kind of banks provide services in investment banking, asset management, wealth management and sales and trading

Simply reaching out to someone and asking them questions about what they do can go a long way. They may become your mentor or even your future boss. At the end of the day, students can expect to enrich their knowledge of the industry they want to be in and cultivate their resources.