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A professional network is a "supportive system" of individuals for a mutually beneficial purpose. The benefits of the relationship may differ depending on the circumstance of the contact. There are many reasons and ways to reach out and build a professional network, and the John P. Fahey Career Center can aid in connecting you to opportunities. 

Career Exploration

One great reason to reach out to a professional contact is to learn more about a career of interest. This is typically accomplished through a career conversation (aka informational interview) or shadowing opportunity to learn more about the field and determine whether it's a good fit.

Building a Professional Network

Networking is natural in many cases, through connecting with a friend of a friend or a family member's colleague, or it can be more structured through digital mediums, networking events, and elected mentoring and shadowing options. The best job searchers spend the majority of their time networking. Whether you are emailing a hiring manager, calling a former supervisor who has a contact at an organization, or connecting with an alumnus who currently works at an employer of interest, networking is often what makes the difference in a competitive application process. Learn More...