Hi, Hannah here.
As a continuation of my interview with Fiona Richardson (SSPP careers consultant), I asked how to make the most of networking whilst being a postgraduate student. Networking is a fantastic way to improve your career prospects, Fiona gave me these four great tips to share with everyone…
1. Use the King’s networks
Your department will hold many events throughout the year, attending these is a great way to make new contacts. King’s Careers and Employability also run a lot of events which are great for networking- these are particularly good for meeting potential employers. Finally, don’t be afraid to speak to people in your academic community, be that your personal tutor, lecturers or other students. They could have really valuable connections that they would be more than happy to share with you.
2. Use Online Networks
LinkedIn is great for finding the kind of people you would like to network with. You could find alumni that are working in a sector you’re interested in, and ask them about their career progression, or stay connected with students and staff on your course, they may have backgrounds relevant to your work interests.
The careers service can offer you support with setting up your LinkedIn account and helping to make sure you are getting the most out of your profile.
3. Pitching your Approach
Most people you meet when networking will be willing to help you in some way. However you must be mindful of what you expect from them and pitch your approach appropriately.
It’s likely that someone may offer you advice about the industry they work in and how they got to be in their current position. You should not walk up to someone at a networking event and ask them for an internship.
4. Do your Research!
This point is vitally important if you want to gain valuable information from networking and not embarrass yourself. Read about who is going to be at the event by looking them up online, and make sure you know who they work for. The last thing you want to do is ask them a question that you could easily find the answer to online- this is a waste of your time and theirs.