Networking vital for career planning and growth

Rachel Morrison/Pioneer
Making contacts through social networking sites offers convenient ways to network.

When it comes to networking, Public Relations Coordinator Cordell Jordan said students can’t expand their horizons enough.

“Who you know can be just as important as what you know,” Jordan said. Online Editor Richard Hall agrees.

Hall, who worked part-time at OCCC before being offered his current job, said teachers, social networking and interning are some of the best ways to network.

He said students should introduce themselves to people in their career field and be knowledgeable about what those people do.

That can lead to great networks in the future, he said.

“Everyone benefits from everyone,” Hall said.

He said students also should make a point of attending job fairs and getting to know key players there, and maintaining a good rapport with professors. Hall said one never knows who those network sources might know and how they can help.

Psychology major Dayshaun Burns said she participates in organizations to help her meet and network with people at school and outside of school.

Hall said interning is another good way to make the most of your networking.

He said he got his start at by interning one summer.

When his internship ended, he was offered a job as online editor.

“Networking is important to everyone,” Hall said. “No one gets to where they are without networking.”

Student Employment and Career Services Director Debra Vaughn said networking online is valuable as well.

Making a second Facebook account for professional use, and uploading videos and a multimedia résumé at that site is a good way to network, she said.

Vaughn said career counselors are calling social networking sites like Facebook a second résumé.

Hall agrees.

“Social networking is an invaluable tool,” he said.

Student Employment and Career Services Coordinator Judi McGee agrees but said students need to think twice about what they post.

She said social networking can also generate negative results if a person posts anything inappropriate or allows others’ inappropriate posts or pictures to appear on the site.

McGee said many employers check potential employees’ social network profiles before hiring.

Many people set their social network profiles to private, but federal employers can get past privacy locks under the Patriot Act, Vaughn said.

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