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Kerri Jesson

SFU Student
Beedie School of Business

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Bunch of people meeting each other
As nerve-racking as that day may have been, in the end it was a valuable experience which has prepared me for future networking events.

Nowadays, getting a job can be extremely difficult. And as if things weren’t already hard enough, there is another issue: there may be job opportunities out there, but you just don’t know about them! The same goes for some sought-after volunteer opportunities: the position is there, but it’s just not advertised.

You may be wondering how one exactly gains insider information on what’s going on in the volunteer world. Sadly, that is something you have to do yourself by creating connections with industry insiders. The good news, however, is that doing this can be a lot of fun!

You can start by attending a networking event. Perhaps one targeted for those within your faculty, or you could go to one targeting a more general audience.

Now you may be thinking “A networking event? I’d never attend one of those!” I urge you, however, to get out and try going to one! As someone who can be extremely shy, it took a lot of convincing for me to get myself to go to my first networking event last year. As soon as I walked into the room, I felt like I didn’t belong – everyone seemed to know someone, and was talking to someone else. But I realized that besides the odd person who had a friend there, most people had gone alone and had started networking themselves.

As nerve-racking as that day may have been, in the end it was a valuable experience which has prepared me for future networking events. Also, it’s great to strike up conversation with someone new because even if you don’t exchange contact information, they could be interesting, and even inspiring, to see what industry professionals or other students like yourself are up to.

Even if you don’t find yourself attending a networking event, or if you have yet to meet the contacts you want, you could also make an account on an organization’s website, or in regards to volunteer positions, it may be possible for you to apply and make your way onto the organization’s mailing list.

However you do it, remember that making contacts and building new connections opens you up to more and more opportunities – one thing that it can be nice to have a lot of!

About the Author

the author's portrait

Kerri Jesson

SFU Student
Beedie School of Business
Kerri is currently in her second year at SFU and working toward her degree in Business. Through her posts on the ENGAGE blog, she hopes to inspire other students to take initiative and become engaged, both at SFU and within their communities.

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