3 Places You Could be Networking (And Probably Aren't)

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As a the UX Insights and Design lead at #BUILTBYGIRLS, I get emails all the time from girls and young women like you who want to build their networks, but don't know where to start. While WAVE is a great way to start building your network of professionals who are rooting for you, I wanted to share some of the other ways I’ve built my network over the years. As Sheryl, a panelist from this week’s mini-conference Girl, You Better (net)Work so eloquently put, “It’s not always going to be called a networking event”—sometimes you will make your most helpful connections in unexpected places."  

Peers now become connections later ⚡️

If you’re in college now, or will be soon, I encourage you to really take advantage of on-campus clubs and groups. This is an amazing opportunity to find people who share your passions and interests. Many of your peers will likely go on to awesome successful careers. Invest in your network now to see it pay off as you progress in your own career.

Meet up with people 👋

There are a lot of great services out there that help folks gather based on interests. Meetup is one of the most popular, and they pride themselves on having really niche groups like "Data + The Greater Good". (Pro tip: Often employers have been known to go and scout certain Meetups to find emerging talent.)  Also look for other affinity groups that might target a certain demographic you are in -- and if you don’t find one. Start it yourself.

Get a deal on that conference fee 💰

Conferences are one of my personal favorite ways to network. Not only do you get to meet people, but you can learn some really cool stuff and see new trends presented by the experts themselves. Afraid of that huge sticker price? My two hacks for paying less are: 

  • Apply to be a speaker on a panel or presenter. If you’re accepted your fee is waived AND you get the ultimate networking experience as a star.

  • Search for a student discount. Almost all conferences or festivals will have a student discount, and if you don’t see one, definitely email them and ask. I’ve gotten many a half-priced ticket when I worked at a non-profit just by asking.

Get out there 🚀

Stop waiting around and get out there. It can often feel like as a student or young professional you’re not ready to mingle with the pros, but you have a lot to offer and there is no better time to start than right now.

✨More Networking Tips✨ 

  • 🤝 Go find a Meetup near you now!

  • 📰 A quick article with even more reasons you should join a college club.

  • 🎬 Watch our Hotline Video on prepping for a networking event.

Follow #BUILTBYGIRLS on Twitter and Instagram and sign up for WAVE.

NetworkingCiara Bush