The Importance of Networking
By Ackeem Nugent
In college everyone always mentions the key importance of networking and forming coalitions with faculty, staff, and your peers. Many college advisors say that forming connections with your professors will dramatically help you when you decide to transfer to senior college. When I started college one of my mentors encouraged me to make connections with my peers in my classes because you never know who has information about a job that interests you. She also said make good connections with your professors because you will need them to later on to write recommendations later on. However when I enrolled in my first semester at LaGuardia I was really quite and apprehensive to, getting to know my professors. I just never was the conversation starter with individuals I had never interacted with before.
Alpha Theta Phi helped break my old habits of being demure and modest. As the president of the chapter you are required to go to the Presidents Cabinet meeting were all the chairs of departments and leaders of institutional advancement programs come together to discuss an array of things. At the last meeting I went to I was granted the opportunity to present what my table been debating about. This meeting is also an opportunity to network and really get to know the departmental leaders of the college. Being surrounded by such a talented team of workplace professionals provides you the ability to build your interpersonal connections. For instance I was having a conversation with someone about my career ambitions, and how I was having trouble deciding between two similar careers. By advocating and sharing my goals the individual put me in contact with a LaGuardia Alumni to give me more information and guidance about my career choice. Having this alumnus as a part of my network gives me the great benefit of getting to understand some of the daily activities of the job. This newly formed contact is also mentoring me through the necessary steps I can take towards my goal. Alpha Theta Phi continues to show me the importance of networking and getting to know the individuals I am working with.
This organization has taught me to always step out of my comfort zone and actively lead a conversation. Networking is the opportunity to exchange ideas, information and much more with someone. Phi Theta Kappa has shown me that to be a leader you must be able to advocate and vocally represent yourself at all times.