Welcome Week Unplugged: Mastering Online Connections
Saima Hasan is a marketing and business development head for a multinational law firm based in Dubai and studying an MSc Marketing degree at the University of London. In this article, Saima provides some useful tips on making connections online and setting yourself up for a successful career.
Welcome Week is an exciting time for every student embarking on their academic journey. While traditionally held on campus, the shift to online learning has opened new avenues for networking and forging connections in the virtual world. As an MSc Marketing student, I have discovered the significance of online networking and leveraging social media channels to make meaningful connections. In this blog, I will share some useful tips on making connections online during Welcome Week and delve into the value of networking.
Utilise Social Media Channels
Social media platforms are powerful tools for networking and building professional connections. Many universities have dedicated social media channels for students to connect and engage with each other. You can follow University of London student channels on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok and Threads. Join these groups and actively participate in discussions. LinkedIn is a valuable platform for connecting with professionals. Create a compelling LinkedIn profile and start building your network by reaching out to alumni, industry experts, and potential mentors.
Engage in Meaningful Conversations
Networking is not just about collecting contacts; it's about forming genuine connections. Take the time to engage in meaningful conversations with your peers and industry professionals. Ask thoughtful questions, share your insights, and actively listen to others. These conversations can lead to valuable connections and provide you with new perspectives and opportunities.
Attend Virtual Career Fairs
Many universities organise virtual career fairs where students can interact with recruiters and professionals from various industries. These events are excellent opportunities to explore potential job prospects and make connections with recruiters. Prepare in advance by researching the participating companies and come prepared with questions and a polished elevator pitch. Sign up to the latest events from the University of London Careers Service via Careers Connect.
Collaborate on Group Projects
During your studies, you might be assigned group projects or collaborative tasks. Embrace these opportunities to work closely with your peers. Engaging in teamwork not only helps you develop crucial skills but also fosters connections with your classmates. Actively participate, contribute your ideas, and leverage the collective expertise of your group to deliver outstanding results.
Identifying mentors who can guide you throughout your academic journey and beyond is invaluable. Reach out to professors, industry professionals, or alumni who have experience in your field. Establishing a mentor-mentee relationship can provide you with insights, advice, and networking opportunities. Their guidance can help shape your career path and open doors to new possibilities.
Networking and building connections during Welcome Week is crucial for every student. Although the transition to online events and virtual networking may seem daunting, embracing these opportunities can lead to meaningful connections and potential career advancements. By actively participating in online events, utilising social media channels, engaging in meaningful conversations, attending virtual career fairs, collaborating on group projects, and seeking mentors, you can create a strong network that will support your professional growth. Welcome Week is just the beginning of your academic journey, and by establishing connections early on, you set the stage for a successful career.