Grossmont College's Student News Media

The Summit

Grossmont College's Student News Media

The Summit

Grossmont College's Student News Media

The Summit

Networking

The importance of networking and how it benefits your life.
Photo+by+Pixabay
Photo by Pixabay

Almost everyone has heard the word “networking,” but do you really know what it means to network or how to do it?

Networking is all about creating connections. It is a chance to connect with people you know or don’t know. It is the act of building and developing relationships that are professional or personal. Matthew Aragon, the Career Service Projector in a networking workshop, said, “You’re all the time.” 

Aragon, the director of Sales and Marketing at Embassy Suites by Hilton Hotel, mentioned that he joined a punk rock band before he worked in the hotel business. His sister, who worked for hotels, got him a job on the side in case his music career didn’t work out. At first, Aragon was not interested but worked on the side to support his music career. Now, he has worked for many hotels working his way up the business ladder. 

Aragon’s sister connected him to his future career, ultimately leading him to many more opportunities, such as promotions and even meeting his wife. Every step of his career and personal life is due to networking. “Your network is an exclusive bubble that overlaps with everything in your life,” he said. 

Networking is more important than one might think and opportunities are just around the corner. 

Whether you know it or not, you are networking by creating connections in your everyday routine. Being a regular at a coffee shop, greeting people and even speed-dating can be networking. You are even networking within your family dynamic. Your family might know someone who works or is involved in your future career. Talking and asking questions with your parents, siblings, aunts or uncles, and friends can open you up to a world of opportunities. 

Beside networking at home, the best place for networking as a college student is on your school campus. In an email, Work-Based Learning Coordinator Pavel Consuegra said, “Networking while attending Grossmont College can be a valuable way to start building professional connections and exploring career opportunities.” 

Coming to class and making connections with your professors or prospective students within your major is a way of networking and sets you up for success. Show up and don’t be afraid to start conversations. There is never any harm in creating connections.

Navigating the world of networking may seem daunting, but there are steps you can take to excel in it. 

First and foremost, the most important thing to do while networking is to be yourself and be authentic. If you are not yourself, then you are not authentic, and that might give the wrong impression to the person you want to build a connection with. Whether you’re naturally introverted or extroverted, embracing your authentic self while taking calculated risks is crucial.

Consuegra recommended several steps to help students kickstart their networking journey. These included attending career development workshops, joining student organizations, participating in networking events, and engaging with faculty and staff. These initiatives at Grossmont aim to empower students by providing opportunities to connect, develop skills and forge meaningful relationships.

“The goal of networking is to expand your professional circle, exchange knowledge and resources, and create opportunities for career growth and development,” Consuegra said. Grossmont College offers an ideal environment to initiate networking efforts and cultivate impactful connections that can shape your future. 

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About the Contributor
Alana Mullaly
Alana Mullaly, Editor-in-Chief
Journalism major who has a passion for photojournalism that tells meaningful stories. In her spare time, she likes to exercise, read and write.
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