In a world where the general population, which includes healthcare and medical students, increasingly prefers digital communication over face-to-face interaction, networking remains one of the best ways to gain a competitive advantage in the marketplace. While most healthcare and medical students are familiar with the general concept of networking and how it works, some may struggle to understand its true value.
At a basic level, networking helps one connect with those who are in a similar industry or profession. Networking helps you establish both personal and professional relationships with people who, in the grand scheme of things, may help you land your first job down the road. In almost every industry, but especially healthcare where you work very closely with colleagues, vendors and partners, it is imperative to establish a continuously-growing network.
But how does one do so?
Networking events are a great place to, well, network. Keep a constant eye out for healthcare or medical industry networking events in your area. However, before you attend any networking event, be sure to touch up and bring a copy of your resume, just in case. It’s also not a bad idea to create business cards for yourself even if you are not employed. Giving your network a phone number or email address at which they can reach you is a great way to stay in touch with your connections.
Get to Know Your Peers
Very often you can grow your professional network simply by striking up a conversation with those around you. Start the conversation with something school-related or a simple greeting. You will find that by doing so, it’s easier to develop a long-lasting and potentially beneficial relationship for several years to come. Getting to know your peers can also help you form a study group for midterms and final exams.
Touch Up Your LinkedIn Profile
LinkedIn is essentially a 21st Century form of networking. Users create a profile which showcases their educational and professional work experience – a digital resume, so to speak. From there, users can connect with others who share similar interests or career paths. Groups are also available to join which serve as a forum to discuss particular topics and events.
Although it can be difficult to open up about your personal life to professors or instructors, being sociable really goes a long way in terms of fostering relationships. The essence of networking is that you truly never know when a simple “Hello” could lead to a meaningful relationship.