Networking from a Distance and Experiential Learning
Though we have been accustomed to face-to-face interactions, this new time has propelled us to one that is primarily online. As a result, daily activities such as networking, has shifted to online platforms, which may be unfamiliar to some of us. However, instead of focusing on the unfortunate circumstances, look on the bright side! Even though networking has moved online, there is ample opportunity to connect with others on a global capacity. Online platforms help us expand the network we already have into other communities with similar interests.
Benefits of Networking
One benefit of networking is that it builds credibility and visibility. When you network, you create a presence for yourself. This is important because it builds engagement among the relationships you have. When you establish a good profile for yourself you are also building trust with employers, co-workers or anyone else you may come in contact with.
Other benefits of networking include:
• Gaining insight into the day in life of your desired career.
• Greater understanding of various career journeys and how one’s career has developed overtime.
• Becoming aware of new openings and opportunities for work or even an internship.
• Increasing the number of your contacts.
• Providing you with a support system for advice and recommendations.
How can you Network?
University’s platform of Ten Thousand Coffees. LinkedIn is a professional platform that can be used to build your profile, find jobs or internships, strengthen professional relationships, and connect with various individuals to help you navigate your career journey. For more extensive help in creating your LinkedIn profile and making connections please go to CareerZone.brocku.ca > Student Resources > Social Media & Branding, to find a variety of helpful documents and guidelines.
Ten Thousand Coffees is another great online platform that connects students (undergraduates and graduates) - across a large group, where individuals seek out help from others and learn from one another. Ten Thousand Coffees works by virtually connecting students and alumni based on their career goals and interests. To get started please visit Brock University’s Ten Thousand Coffees at (https://www.tenthousandcoffees.com/schools/brocku).
Experiential learning is the process of gaining new knowledge through hands-on experiences in your environment. It is also a means of schooling or gaining new information through self-reflection. Learning experientially allows you to make connections between concrete materials taught in school and in real-world contexts. The advantages of experiential learning include, on-the-spot feedback from your supervisors, the opportunity to implement your transferable skills and cultivate thoughtful work habits.
Ways to Get Involved
Some ways to get involved is to look for some course-based experiential learning opportunities at your institution. Brock University has some program specific experiential learning opportunities built into the courses. You can learn more here (https://brocku.ca/ccee/experiential-education/). Students can check out guidelines on internships, going abroad, volunteering, job postings and getting involved at Brock or in the community by visiting careerzone.brocku.ca > Student Resources > Gain Experience Tab or Going Global Tab. All of these are great tools of experiential learning because they help you gain a better understanding of your skills and its application to the real world.