Networking means making and maintaining academic, professional, and even personal relationships in order to find new career opportunities. Whenever you’re in a social environment, talking to new people, asking questions, and sharing your own interests and accomplishments—you’re networking!

So getting experience early in your academic career really is important. It’s a great way to start building a lifelong network of colleagues and professionals. And you never know who’s going to open up a door for you. Most people really enjoy creating or pointing out career opportunities to friends and colleagues.

If you’re still not sure about what networking means and why it’s something everyone should do—not just people in business suits—our expert career advisors can help.


HoosierConnections is a platform of local area professionals in a variety of fields who are willing and interested in meeting with you to network, give informational interviews, and set up job shadowing opportunities. This is a great way to learn firsthand about specific job fields and organizations and to hear from real people about their unique career paths and ongoing career journeys.  If you are ready to connect with a professional click here, or see your career advisor to learn more

Networking with Social Media

Social media continues to evolve the way that we connect with people and grow our networks. Sites like LinkedIn have become invaluable to today’s job market. Once you’ve selected a career path, you can use social media sites to look for open positions, see who works where, join different interest groups, and—most importantly—network with recruiters.

After you meet organization representatives at our events and career fairs, remember to connect with them on LinkedIn through a personalized message. It’s a great way to grow your network.

Spend time developing a quality profile—one that tells the story of who you are as an aspiring professional. It will make you stand out.

Need some guidance? We can help.

Networking with Professional Associations

Professional associations are groups of people who work in a common industry. They often have conferences and meetings where they share current information relevant to the field.

Once you’ve chosen a career path, these associations are a great way to get plugged into the industry or field you’re interested in. There’s usually a joiner fee associated, but occasionally organizations offer discounted rates for students.

You can find field-specific professional associations listed in each of our IU Career Guides.