Networking can help clarify and define your interests in a variety of career fields, and is more essential today than ever before in your job search success. As soon as you are enrolled at USC, you become part of the Trojan Family, a membership that further epitomizes the importance and value of connections and relationships. Watch these “Demystifying Networking” videos for a quick overview:
- Connect/reconnect with your existing contacts (family, friends, classmates, mentors) and let them know you are in the process of exploring careers or job/internship hunting.
- Speak to your professors or mentors and inquire about potential opportunities or resources.
- Reach out to USC alumni through the Trojan Network for advice or to conduct informational interviews.
- Develop new contacts at networking mixers or online at LinkedIn.com. Check your academic department, student organization or school-based career services for upcoming networking events.
- The USC Libguide provides tips on researching professional associations, companies, industries, executives, and building lists of companies.
Who to Network With
USC has a valuable network of diverse individuals available to help you connect with careers of interest to you, including:
Build and maintain relationships with your instructors while in school. Faculty members are often consultants to organizations and professionals within their respective industry/discipline, as well as connected to their former students.
Many USC staff members that you interact with have built relationships in their field and see firsthand the various directions students go in their careers.
This is our online directory of over 6000 alumni who volunteer as information providers to fellow Trojans to assist with career advice, and informational interviews.
Social Media Networks
LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter, among other social media platforms, are considered great tools for finding or reconnecting with people with commonalities or similar careers/fields of interest.
LinkedIn is especially known to help build professional networks by helping you:
- Connect with faculty, supervisors, family, and friends.
- Research alumni/professional career paths and contact them for informational interviews.
- Review job descriptions, as well as perform company and industry research.
Watch video clips of USC (and other university) alumni being interviewed about their career paths in diverse industries and positions. Some of the alumni featured in Candid Careers have offered to talk with you – look under the alumni Candid Career profile for the checked “Career Coach” button.
Most professions have a national and/or regional association intended to enhance knowledge and build networks through local chapter meetings, trainings, and conferences. Many of these professional associations have a discounted rate for students, and industry professionals are often impressed by and willing to mentor proactive students who join and participate or volunteer for these associations.
The LibGuide Professional Associations section is one way to research and find the best professional association for students. Access the LibGuide Professional Associations section and type in the profession of interest in the search engine for a list of related professional associations.
Professional associations can also be accessed through the Career Access Resource Library (CARL), which is an online library of links to graduate schools, career development, professional associations, and other resources.