Networking…maximising the ‘who you know’!

Anna WorsleyStill searching for that elusive ‘dream’ placement? Perhaps now is the time to take your future and your placement search into your own hands and source a placement via your personal network. But how can you source a placement via your network? Our Placement and Projects Coordinator Anna Worsley offers her advice here…

At this stage in your placement search you’ll probably be advised to ‘use your network’ or to ‘make use of your contacts’ but how many people do you really know and how useful are they?

As a student you perhaps don’t consider your friends, your family, their friends and their families to be a network but that’s exactly what they are.  They’re your contacts, they’re your network and if you do some research you might just find you’re well connected.

Make sure everyone you know is aware that you’re looking for a placement and what sector you’d like to work in (if you have a preference).  It’s amazing how small a world it really is once you start discussing jobs.  Your Mum’s second cousin can’t give you a job (that would be nepotism and I’m not advocating that) but she might give you the name of the right person in the Finance Department she works in to contact and ask about the possibility of a placement.

One of my favourite placement search stories was from a student who, feeling a tad frustrated that she was getting nowhere with applications, posted on Facebook that she was getting tired of her placement search. One of her Dad’s friends saw it, asked what she was looking for and then put her in touch with somebody she knew who worked in her chosen sector. A couple of conversations and an interview later her placement search was over! Who would have thought that a Facebook status could lead to a placement?

Social media is a great networking tool; if you’re looking to network professionally I’d recommend using LinkedIn.  New to LinkedIn? You might find their ‘How to Network on LinkedIn’ guide a useful starting point.

The LinkedIn ‘Find Alumni’ tool can put you in touch with alumni who studied a similar course who are now working in the sector you’d like to break into.  Studying at the same university means you’ve already got something in common.  For great advice on using this tool and how to network effectively on LinkedIn check out this blog – ‘the best way to network with alumni on LinkedIn’

As a student, you’re also part of the MMU network and you can join the MMU Alumni LinkedIn group  to get your professional networking kick started.

For more advice and guidance on networking and LinkedIn keep an eye out for the Careers and Employability workshops

  • ‘Networking: make it work for you’
  • ‘LinkedIn – from amateur to pro’

We’re also available for 1-to-1s so come and see us for hints and tips on effective networking and perhaps you can create your dream placement.

Good luck & happy networking!

The MMU Business School Placement Team can be contacted on 0161 247 3711 by students wanting to book a 1-to-1

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