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Networking Organizations for College Grads

  • Networking

    Becoming an active member of a few relevant organizations that attract like-minded individuals is a must for any new graduate looking to build their network. In other words, if you want to get ahead, look for ways to get involved. Networking groups such as community-based organizations, professional associations and alumni clubs are good places to start.

    Getting involved puts you in the path of people who have already established themselves as business leaders. Getting to know these more experienced professionals is a smart career move for several reasons. Not only do employers seek job candidates who feel comfortable around executives, these local leaders already have large networks and are often considered to be influencers within a specific field, industry or community. Because others respect them and trust their judgment, these people can profoundly influence your career by giving you their stamp of approval. To be blunt: they can help you get a job faster than your campus career center.

    You’ll also save time by joining organizations. Attending events will bring you in contact with many people at once, all of whom you may have future one-on-one meetings with in order to develop a more solid relationship. Think about it: within the span of just an hour or two, you can meet dozens of people that have the potential to become an important part of your professional or personal life. Here are some of the different types of networking organizations college grads can join right away.

    Membership Organizations

    Elks

    Lions

    Rotary International
    Not all recent graduates will qualify for membership in rotary, but you can get involved in networking with Rotary in other ways like volunteering at events and having one-off meetings with members.

    Toastmasters International

    Women’s Networking Organizations

    85 Broads
    This global professional network was founded by women who worked for Goldman Sachs at 85 Broad Street, the investment banking firm's New York City headquarters. They have a large presence on college and graduate school campuses as well.

    Business and Professional Women
    This group promotes equity for women in the workplace through advocacy and education.

    National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO)
    You do not need to be a business owner to join this networking group, which hosts monthly events and a national conference each year.

    The Association of Junior Leagues International
    There are Junior Leagues in almost every city in the US and in many foreign countries. Its emphasis is on leadership training, volunteer management and developing the business skills you need to be successful.

    Professional Associations

    American Accounting Association

    American Bar Association

    National Human Resources Association

    National Society of Professional Engineers

    Public Relations Society of America

    The American Marketing Association

    The Professional Association for Design (AIGA)

    Have any more suggesstions about where college grads can start networking? Please let us know by writing to us on our blog or by sending us a note through our contact page.