The one thing everyone has missed in lockdown more than any other is human contact – all the tiny interactions and mini-interactions we have each day, personally and professionally. But students need to build contacts and network if they want to progress, right?
In her second blog, Indian student Soumily Mallick, who is studying for an Msc in Supply Chain Management at Institute of Technology in Carlow, gives you 5 great tips for networking even during lockdown. (note: this blog was written when Ireland was in level 5 lockdown in the early months of 2021)
During this unfortunate time when everything is closed, unlike any usual year nowadays international students haven’t get enough opportunities to personally interact with people beyond their places of study. Attending various live events, job fairs, professional discussions etc. has been very difficult for companies to organise this year. Therefore I am going to discuss here five ways for international students to efficiently forge professional links and pursue their career and interests even during this arduous time.
1. Get in touch with your University/ Institute career desk
Start by approaching your institute career desk for they are the most experienced, convenient and helpful people to provide you with an accurate job scenario in the country. They may also guide you to make a better resume or suggest suitable career opportunities after graduation.
2.Register with various job portals to be aware of all the pertinent openings
Besides LinkedIn, there are multiple job portals namely Gradireland.com, Irishjobs.com, Indeed, Graduateland.com and many more that are widely popular in Ireland. Subscribe to all the available job portals to get yourself maximum knowledge about the job openings and ongoing graduate programs. And keep applying!
3. Are you on LinkedIn? I will just add you!
On a daily basis you get to meet new people, including your classmates, people in other faculties and friends of friends. Don’t ever forget to add them on LinkedIn. People may be hesitant to share their personal social media profiles but LinkedIn and sites like it are different. Professional networking is something everyone should learn to do and don’t deny yourself the chance to do it! So take this opportunity and make as many connections as possible that are relevant to your areas of interest.
4. Connect with all your seniors and super seniors
A good reference can be your lucky charm. Stay on friendly terms with everyone you can. Even if they don’t offer a reference, your seniors will surely guide you to understand the qualities you need to keep building before entering the job market. As they are the soldiers who are already ‘fighting the battle’, nobody else can understand your position better or give you more accurate information than a well-read senior who has just overcome the same challenges you face.
5. Listen carefully to the class, faculty and classmates
Remember not all your classmates would be international; learn more about the country from your Irish classmates, your professors and your roommates. Participate in class discussions, understand and study more about the European Union, and whenever you’re stuck, talk to your Irish classmates and get their insights. Your professor may arrange guest lecturers for your class, so listen to them and their experiences as well as read more about their current profession. Ask them about career aspects, and if you can, connect with them on any professional networking sites you’re on.
Coming from a different country and trying to understand a foreign country’s job scene can be very challenging as well as interesting. Professional networking in order to get a job or internship is not limited to the above, however. As you go deeper into your areas of interest there will be multiple ways to find relevant connections. Stay well informed and keep yourself up to date so when the opportunity arises you will never miss your chance to succeed.
Wishing all the prospecting graduates of 2021 and those who are already working hard to achieve their dream roles, all the very best! ☺