Networking Guide for International Students

Networking is one of the most highly valued skills in the current employment market. Do you know how networking can advance your career regardless of whether you’ve heard about it before? Some people ‌believe that networking is nothing more than exchanging business cards.

Networking is about interacting with people and forming relationships. It boils down to giving help to others and receiving it in return. By networking, you provide yourself access to fresh possibilities. You’re networking with new people who can advance your career. And you’re establishing a reputation for being someone who enjoys assisting others.

Below are tips that can help you as an international student, no novel tips but I hope you find it useful.

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o The University of Surrey has a dedicated Careers and Employability Service

The career center at a university is an excellent area for you to look for jobs and internships while on campus. The career services maintain relationships with businesses and industrial facilities and work to make it easier for undergraduates and graduates to connect with employers. So, if you want career advice, get in touch with the career center in school. You can find them at the Student Hive on special days sharing goodies and advice, at their Career fairs and you can email/book a meeting with them. Personally, I’ve had a CV review session with them, and it was good. To improve your soft skills, go to this University of Surrey Pathfinder website for job openings, tasks for employability awards, etc.

o Join Student Organizations and Clubs

A famous saying is ‘No man is an island’ and this popular African proverb, “If you want to go fast, go alone, if you want to go far, go together”. –– Martha Goedert. Joining the Nigerian society has been beneficial with useful information, the Economics society has also organized many quality events, and these are the ones I am a part of, the University has many societies and clubs to help you build your social skills, network, and connect with individuals from diverse backgrounds. Check out this page from the Student Union.

o Key Networking Groups

Groups like BYP Network, Student Circus, etc have resources, and virtual and on-site events to advance your professional careers. Every day through the networking walkway is a discovery. For job opportunities, placements, and internships, Ratemyplacement, Bright Network, and SEO London are great institutions to register with. Most of them are free to join and others like Student Circus have a paid membership plan with a 30-day free trial period.

o Volunteering

I was a very active volunteer in my undergrad and early career years, honestly; I haven’t explored volunteering here because of balance and time constraints, but I will volunteer and add value to a group before graduation. Here’s the thing about volunteering, it’s one of the simplest ways to meet like-minded individuals, some of my very good friends to date were from my volunteering days.

It’ll cause you to make additional networking chances thus adding flavor to your resume. Also, you will connect with like-minded individuals who could be helpful contacts in the future.

o LinkedIn and Associations

As an international student, it’s profitable to be active on LinkedIn, joining various education and work-related social media groups/channels as soon as your school admits you admitted and your resume, you can introduce yourself to potential employers, colleagues, and friends. My friend told me recently that LinkedIn is like TikTok to her, I sleep there, in her words. I honestly agree, if you find navigating LinkedIn tiring, connect with a University of Surrey career counselor here, to book a session. Don’t forget to connect with an alumnus on LinkedIn, please don’t be shy. E get why!

o Academic Advisors

If you are an undergraduate student, you’ll find this tip very useful.

Academic advisors can be quite helpful to you in achieving your educational objectives. They do this by looking at several academic programs, assisting you in identifying your academic abilities, and helping you select the ideal major.

Many advisors also have fantastic suggestions for events or employment openings that you can take advantage of. Therefore, it’s critical to maintain contact and express your gratitude for the assistance they give.

Take this networking test to determine your networking style, and to help you navigate and position yourself accordingly. I socially identify as a strategic connector, what about you?

Till next time, stay connected. Connect with me on LinkedIn.