Sometimes, the most important connections result from seemingly small initiatives to start simple conversations.
In a business setting, your network and the connections you make are everything. Someone you met at a recent networking event may introduce you to your dream job; a coworker may prove to be a true friend during a time of need. Securing a relationship with your boss can lead to an early promotion, and maintaining contact with old college friends may open doors to new industries and careers.
Especially as a freshman who is now finally getting her bearings at a university as large as UC Berkeley, I have learned so much about the importance of forming and maintaining connections with people who may potentially have a big impact on my life in the future. I have learned to reach out to professionals by cold-emailing, arranging coffee chats, or connecting on LinkedIn, and it has not only furthered my own professional development but also made me proud of myself for taking initiative and deciding what is important for me.
I never imagined that meeting or conversing with individuals of various academic backgrounds and experiences would allow me to learn so much about myself. Allocating time in my day to talk with fellow peers about life has cultivated into organic relationships and a better understanding of what I would like to do after college. The sky's the limit, especially when you create connections and surround yourself with diverse, inspirational people.
Some takeaways: take initiative to expand your professional and personal worldview. Learn as much as you can and invest in developing lasting relationships with peers and coworkers. Send a quick text to a fellow friend who has an interesting internship or reach out to a professional whose work you find inspiring. It's that easy.