Written by Ella Johnson, Student Partner Intern at the Careers Service (BA Psychology and Languages, 2021).
Missed the Student Speed Network event on 5, May? Don’t worry, you can catch up on demand here and find out below the top 8 ways that you can network.
- Online fairs and events
The Careers Service host a variety of sessions and events that are currently taking place online. They are all advertised on CareerConnect. Log in, and find events by going to Search > Events. Events are a great way connect with people. For example, Meet the professionals are alumni panel events, usually based around one sector which provide a great starting point for career ideas and connecting with professionals who were in your shoes not too long ago.
Top tip: Find out who will be on the panel beforehand – even if you have to email and ask! If not, the host usually takes a couple of minutes to briefly introduce each panellist – use this time to think of more specific questions once you have found out who is on the panel.
- Facebook Pages
Events and opportunities are often advertised here that are not available on other platforms. Sector specific pages post relevant roles (both voluntary and paid), whilst the Careers Service posts opportunities suitable for all interests. Look out for Student Experience Internships (paid summer internships for undergraduates, including training and professional development opportunities), Global Graduates and Manchester Graduate Talent opportunities on the Manchester Careers Service Facebook page and on CareerConnect.
International Students also benefit from pages such as the EU and International Student Career Group, to keep up to date with tailored career events, job opportunities, visa changes and much more.
- Library Peer Network (eligibility criteria applies)
The Library Peer Network is an online space specifically designed for underrepresented students for peer and alumni networking. Here, the secret curriculum of the University experience is explicitly discussed and supported, with access to live networking sessions.
LinkedIn is the professional version of social media, designed specifically for networking. Create a profile, follow and message professionals and join groups to see posted opportunities such as internships, volunteering positions and jobs. You can also post and react to posts in order to maintain a LinkedIn presence and be headhunted by employers.
You can connect with alumni via The University of Manchester Alumni Association group, Manchester Business School group, The International Manchester Network, (or specific areas such as India, China , Africa and Pakistan) as well as local organisations in Manchester.
Top Tip: Start by following your friends, course mates, colleagues and University staff and see what they’re up to in order to build your profile and get ideas for groups to follow.
The most fun way to network! Expand your network by making friends with similar interests by joining societies. Whether you want a career as a yoga instructor or an academic, societies offer not only student connections, but opportunities to connect with professionals such as guest speakers or organisations the society works with.
- Volunteering / Work Experience
Volunteering is another great way to meet new people, of all ages and backgrounds with more professional experience than fellow students. They may also have helpful connections and contacts for you! Find opportunities at the Volunteer Hub.
Don’t forget, the Work Experience Bursary offers financial support for full time undergraduates of all years to undertake career enhancing work experience, internships and volunteering, giving you a helping hand towards achieving your future career goals.
- Virtual internships / work experience
Access free, virtual experience programmes with leading organisations for opportunities to develop your professional skills, as well as gaining experience in remote working, which is likely to be very important in the future job market.
- Professional Student Memberships
Many careers and disciplines have student membership for professional bodies.
As well as looking committed to your degree discipline on your CV or exploring a different career you have always dreamt of, student membership can give you a special insight into current experiences of working in the profession. They can also give you access to sector specific information and resources, such as professional events with guest speakers where you can practice your networking.
(Student Membership ranges from £10-30 per year)
Professional associations with student membership options include:
- British Psychological Society
- Institution of Civil Engineers
- Incorporated Society of Musicians
- Chartered Society of Physiotherapy
- Justice (for those interested in legal professions)
- Historical Association
Don’t forget, the Career Service are here to help and support you with all your networking needs. You can visit the Careers Service YouTube Channel where we post recordings of our online workshops so you can view them on demand. If you have any questions, send us a message on one of our social media accounts.