Networking – It is a soft skill we all need, but for many, we are not comfortable using. For some, networking just feels awkward – while for others – it can feel pointless. When you are a graduate student and trying to break into a particular career field, networking can seem like a daunting challenge. However, even if you feel some apprehension towards it, networking is a valuable skill that can be vital toward a successful job search.
According to PayScale.com, somewhere between 70 to 85 percent of jobs are found through networking and approximately 80 percent of jobs are never publicly listed, but instead filled through networking and referrals. This is known as the “Hidden Job Market” and is definitely a faster route to landing a job rather than only sending out standard applications through company websites.
At the UC San Diego Rady School of Management, we understand how valuable networking can be for students and alumni, and provide multiple avenues to practice and effectively utilize this skill. For students, we offer opportunities to learn and connect with employers and alumni through, Employer Insights Panels, Information Sessions, Company Tours, and financial stipends to attend national conferences. For students AND alumni, we provide opportunities to network through career fairs, The Rady Network, Company Treks, and the CareersRady online platform.
Still unsure where to begin? If you are a current Rady student, you can try reading Jaymin Patel’s The MBA Guide to Networking like a Rockstar, which is available for checkout at the Career Connections front desk. I also recommend reading Learn to Love Networking from Harvard Business Review. It breaks networking down into four easy strategies that you can use the next time you want to reach out someone new.