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When you hear “professional network” you probably think of your possibly neglected LinkedIn profile, right? After all, you don’t need to think about that sort of thing until you get close to graduation…
We’d like to suggest that you can do more than just load up your digital resume online to network, in fact, here at SAMRU we have a number of ways students can network with future colleagues while still working towards their diplomas, certificates, or degrees. (Alumni too!)
If you read our February 2015 (http://www.samru.ca/2015/02/) article about building your professional network, you already have a good start. We had a lot of feedback to the article, and thought we’d put together a list from some of our top responders.
“Take every leadership/weekend training thing SAMRU offers!” – Academic Advisor Rea Sauter (Enrolment Services – Academic Advising Services)
SAMRU offers a number of leadership training events, helping MRU students lead their peers either formally or informally. Sexual health leadership training, mental health training, Club executive training, event planning training, volunteer leadership training, and First Aid training are just a few of the different kinds of training SAMRU offered MRU students in the 2014-15 academic year, and SAMRU also offers training to everyone involved in student leadership through our Academic Student Caucus, Executive Committee, and Students’ Council. To learn more about leadership opportunities, or leadership training available to MRU students during the 2015-16 academic year, visit: http://www.samru.ca/studentopportunities/leadership/
“Connect with resources in the community”. – Student Advocacy Coordinator Andrea Davis (SAMRU)
If you have a passion, we can help you connect with that passion, and the people involved. “Depending on student needs and interests, there are a variety of community resources that we can help make connections with” Davis explained. “For example, if a student is interested in marketing, outreach, or promotion around the topic of sexual violence, we have subject matter experts who can help connect students with community resources” she added. This might mean finding networking opportunities outside of MRU, but better still we can help students develop these areas on-campus too. For more information on how to pursue your own initiatives, contact our Student Initiatives Programmer: http://www.samru.ca/supportservices/sustainability/
“Join at least one club for one semester.” – Academic Advisor Rea Sauter (Enrolment Services – Academic Advising Services)
Have you checked out SAMRU clubs yet? If not, you should! While there are plenty of social opportunities through SAMRU clubs, there are also lots of clubs focused on academic pursuits; these are the clubs that bring together your future colleagues, and the activities these clubs host are a way you can put what you’re learning in the classroom to real-world action. This is a great way to get experience in your field, and network with people who you might just be sharing an office with a few years from now. Get the full scoop about SAMRU clubs here: http://www.samru.ca/studentopportunities/studentclubs/ and if you don’t see one devoted to your particular pursuit, you can start your own!
‘Connect with your future alumni chapter and see what they’re doing’ – Coordinator Tierney Edmunds (Alumni Outreach Development & Alumni Relations)
MRU’s Alumni chapters host a wide range of events, workshops, and activities on and off campus. Check out what they’re up to and see which events appeal to you, and which ones you might be able to attend. The members have a dedicated interest in their own networking opportunities, but also in seeing the next group of students joining their ranks as their colleagues and supporters. Alumni Relations also hosts events connecting students to engaged and passionate Alumni, where you can learn more about life after graduation. Learn more about Alumni opportunities here: http://www.mtroyal.ca/AboutMountRoyal/Alumni/
“Get involved, period, and access the services available to you.” – Student Advocacy Coordinator Andrea Davis (SAMRU)
When students want to get involved, Andrea recommends checking out the different services, groups, workshops, and meetings that are available. Most of them are free to attend, and some of them, such as workshops through Student Counselling have regular meeting times, allowing you to get to know a group of people very well. If you aren’t sure how to join in, or how to take advantage of your opportunities, Andrea offers communication and advocacy training, guidance, and advice for MRU students. Learn more here: http://www.samru.ca/supportservices/studentadvocacycoordinator/
Want to share your own tips on on-campus networking opportunities, or advice on how MRU students can build their professional networks before graduation day? Share your ideas on our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/mySAMRU
-By Dawn Linnemoller, Editor & Content Coordinator, SAMRU