Networking is one of the most crucial elements to developing a successful business career. Whether students interact face-to-face or through social media, the connections that they make with supervisors, peers and other professionals may ultimately lead to a breakthrough opportunity in their careers.
"Networks deliver three unique advantages: private information, access to diverse skill sets and power," scientific researchers Brian Uzzi and Shannon Dunlap told the Financial Post. "Executives see these advantages at work every day but might not pause to consider how their networks regulate them."
While the size of the network may seem important, the quality of the connections within it is what really matters. A high-quality relationship with someone who provides insight about a particular career field can be a much more fulfilling friendship than five tenuous connections that don't provide much support.
Additionally, while using the internet to create a network of connections is useful, strengthening relationships beyond the virtual world is the only way that a new professional can fully reap the benefits of the partnership. Excessively subscribing to all social media - including Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, blogging, YouTube and Foursquare - can actually be counterproductive and cause aspiring professionals to spread themselves too thin. Choosing one or two and using them well can be a much more effective way to network.