The Power of Networking: The Importance of Building Lasting Connections

Posted on April 30, 2024

When it comes to jump starting your professional career as a fresh university graduate, there exists a subtle yet crucial tool that is often overlooked: networking and maintaining relationships.  

Networking is the art of creating genuine connections, weaving a web of relationships that can lead to notable possibilities. It’s a lifeline for new graduates, connecting us to opportunities we never thought possible. I have always been a natural ‘people person’ and relationship building was one of the main reasons I studied public relations. I knew I loved meeting, connecting and conversing with people, so it was the perfect fit.  

During my time at university, I realized early on the importance of building connections beyond textbooks and lecture halls. While academics provided the foundation, it was networking that truly opened doors to the professional world. Recognizing the significance of casting a wide net, I made a conscious effort to expand my circle. I quickly learned that networking wasn’t just about exchanging business cards or delivering rehearsed pitches – it was about building genuine connections. In the world of communications, where relationships are the currency of success, putting a face to the name can make all the difference.

In my third year of my degree, I completed my first internship with Brookline PR which served as the initial steppingstone, where I not only gained valuable experience but also cultivated meaningful relationships with the team. Maintaining those connections proved to be invaluable as I ventured into the job market post-graduation. The familiar faces at Brookline became more than just former colleagues. They became mentors, advocates and ultimately, the bridge that led me back to where it all began – working at Brookline with the #dreamteam.

So, what lessons can be learned from my networking journey that I recommend every university student tap into? Here are a few tips for harnessing the power of connections: 

  1. Start early: begin building relationships during your university years and take advantage of being a student! Attend career fairs, join professional organizations, job shadow, meet for coffee, ask questions.  
  1. Be authentic: people can sense insincerity from a mile away. Approach networking with honesty and be yourself! Let your genuine passion for your field shine through. 
  1. Follow up: don’t let a promising connection fizzle out. Follow up with a personalized email or LinkedIn message to keep the conversation going. 
  1. Explore your options: don’t limit yourself to one company or industry. Use networking as a tool for exploration and be open to new possibilities. You never know what you can learn or who you can meet.  
  1. Pay it forward: networking is a two-way street. Offer your support and expertise to others in your network and you’ll find that generosity pays off in the long run. 

In a world where competition is fierce and opportunities are everywhere, the power of networking cannot be overstated. It’s not just about who you know, but how you nurture those relationships and leverage them to create opportunities. As I look back on my journey, I am grateful for the connections that guided me, shaped me and ultimately led me to where I am today. It’s a small world out there, so you never know who you might connect with! 

Amy is an Intern at Brookline Public Relations with a passion for media relations and digital storytelling. As a recent graduate of Mount Royal University, she tackles any opportunity with readiness and excitement and recognizes the crucial role of fostering genuine connections and networking.