Reliability might seem like a simple characteristic, but it often separates veteran employees from people who might have trouble advancing in a particular field. Demonstrating reliability can make a big impression on your classmates and positively contribute to your network.
While it is especially critical for anyone in an HR role — since you’ll directly influence other employees — reliability is important for students looking to enter virtually any field. Fortunately, there are many ways to exhibit reliability in an academic environment.
Make sure your teammates know you can be counted on in group projects. By accepting and following through on your responsibilities, you'll develop a reputation as a reliable team member. Organizing a study group can also help, particularly if you've compiled study materials for the group.
Stay active in online discourse
As a student, networking requires more than passive participation in a class or course. You’ll need to contribute actively to online discourse. Lending your voice, opinions and insight to an online conversation helps establish you as a thoughtful individual who might attract peers to join your network.
Staying active in online discourse also helps other students remember who you are, even after the class concludes. If fellow students have questions about the class or the coursework — or they want to connect with you after the class has concluded — they can return to your online conversations and find your contact information.
To network online, you also want to seek out virtual events. When attending virtual networking events, you are more likely to find like-minded individuals who are also interested in professional networking.
Remain in contact with instructors
In addition to their responsibilities as educators, some online instructors also have years of experience in their industry. These same instructors can be valuable network contacts after your classes end, particularly if you impressed them with your skills and study habits.
Keeping in contact with instructors can help you build rapport and possibly gain a mentor. After classes conclude and you graduate from your online learning program, keep in touch with instructors who helped further your education. These instructors can serve as valuable mentors no matter where you are in your career.
Staying in touch doesn’t need to be complicated. Consider sending your instructors a regular career update as a “thank you” for their role in your education. You can also forward relevant business materials their way or ask for their advice when your career reaches a crossroads.
Even if it has been years since you last spoke with one of your instructors, don’t be afraid to start new conversations. Reestablishing contact can help you obtain new insight or simply add more people to your growing list of network contacts.
Interact with university social media
Your university’s social media pages can provide a wealth of information, including updates on school details, alumni programs and new courses worth your time. Fully remote students can also find value here. You can use school-related social media to interact with students in your class and keep in touch after the course.
You can also share new ideas and gain feedback from other students on any industry-related challenge. If you’re unsure which social media platforms your university uses, the admissions department can likely help.
Between social media and professional networking platforms, the online world is full of opportunities to connect. The trick is to leverage each opportunity to your fullest advantage, all with an eye toward professionalism and career enhancement
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