By Amanda Yuanyuan Wu, Account Supervisor
Networking is an important aspect of career success, and it’s never too early to start building your professional network. Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and talk to people. As a college student, you have unique opportunities to connect with industry professionals. People are usually happy to guide you to find your place. Ready to start off? Here are some tips to help you network as a student in the public relations industry.
- Join professional student organizations
Joining a student organization related to your major or career interests is a great way to meet like-minded individuals. On campus, being a part of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), PRLab, or COMLab can be a great start. Their events, workshops, and speaker panels can bring you closer to the field. PRLab and COMLab are two unique aspects of the BU education that can bring connections with professors, peers, media, and PR professionals through real-life experiences.
- Utilize alumni networks
Your alumni network is always a valuable resource for networking. Reach out to alumni in your field and ask if they would be willing to have informational interviews — even a quick chat to discuss their career path, share their insights, and offer advice can be far more inspiring than you thought. This can help you build relationships with professionals in the field. If you don’t know where to start with, try out BU Connect (the alumni network platform exclusively for BU students) and Linkedin.
- Attend guest speaker events
Guest speaker events can be a valuable source of information about the industry. By attending these events, you can gain a better understanding of the industry, the current trends, and the skills valued by employers. Be sure to go through the speakers’ profiles, come up with some questions, and practice introducing yourself before the event.
- Use social media
Social media platforms like LinkedIn can be a powerful tool to build up your professional network. Twitter is also an essential platform for the media industry, particularly in connecting with journalists. Create a professional profile and connect with people in your field. You can start off by connecting with professors, classmates, and people you know. As you get to meet more professionals, expand your network and interact with them. Engage with their content by commenting, sharing, and liking. This can help you build relationships with people who might be able to help you down the line.
With these tips in mind, you are ready to build a strong network of connections that helps you achieve your career goals. Remember to be authentic. Your personalities and passions always make you stand out from others.