Improving Networking Skills for International Students 

What is Networking? 

Networking involves forming relationships with individuals, such as fellow students, professors, advisors, alumni from the University of Connecticut, and professionals in the workforce. Networking can help open doors to opportunities and can help you learn about potential careers and industries. You can practice speaking about yourself, and networking can increase your confidence. 

3 Steps to Improve Your Networking Skills 

1. Step outside. 

Take the initiative to step out of your comfort zone. Attend events, conferences, seminars, and workshops related to your field of study or industry, both in-person and online. Actively seek opportunities to engage with professionals through informational interviews, career fairs, or industry gatherings. The willingness to interact with individuals with diverse backgrounds and experiences is crucial. 

2. Say “hi” to people around you. 

The essence of building a professional network lies in establishing relationships. Greet people with a sincere “hello” and express genuine interest in getting to know them. Pose open-ended questions about their professional background, experiences, and insights. Utilize social media platforms like LinkedIn to connect with professionals in your field. Personalize your connection requests with a brief introduction, expressing interest in learning from them. During my classes, I always pay attention to the professor’s Office Hours and increase my communication with the professor. During this time, I will ask questions about the class and discuss my future career plans. This has helped me to build a good relationship with my professors! 

3. Join an organization. 

Engage in clubs, organizations, or professional associations related to your academic or career interests. Attending organization events may offer organic opportunities to meet like-minded individuals and potential mentors. By regularly attending organization meetings, you can stay informed about industry trends and job opportunities and strengthen your connections within the community. 

By Tianyu Jiang
Tianyu Jiang