A wise man once said, “It’s not what you know, but who you know”. As college students, we are seeking information and assistance to live out or dreams. When it comes to accomplishing our goals, we want to learn from the best of the best. Who better to turn to than executives in our fields? The top leaders in our fields have the best advice and know the path we should take. Though these leaders don’t often have the time to do so, many choose to mentor college students nonetheless. As a student, how can you maximize on these relationships and gain the knowledge you are seeking. The method is fairly simple.
- Attend alumni mixers. There is nothing wrong with attending events where alumni will be. In fact, you automatically have a connection to everyone in the room… your alma mater! Strike up a conversation with an alum and let a natural connection develop. When you are personable and show promise, potential mentors will be more open to offer their guidance.
- Use LinkedIn. Connect with people in your field, people from your university, people who work at your dream company. Find similarities and follow the leaders who share your interests. LinkedIn profiles often show their education and work experience. You have a chance to see the path that they took and perhaps tweak your own steps to compliment their background.
- Get introduced. Maybe you’re at a conference or a major event. You notice that a mutual friend or colleague is engaged in a conversation with a leader in your field. Politely walk over and speak to both of them. It could be the perfect transition into your introduction.
- Engage on social media. Follow the leaders you love on social media. Reply to their tweets, comment and like their posts, actively participate in their livestreams. Make yourself visible. They will take notice and once a relationship develops through social media they will be more inclined to offer you advice and guidance.
- Give them something to notice. Keep your profiles updated and consistent by showing off your knowledge, skills, achievements, and goals. Let your audiences know who you are through your social media. If a leader in your field sees your work and your passion, they might find an interest in your career development as well.
Put your best foot forward and never pass up an opportunity to spark a natural connection with an executive. You might find the mentorship that you’ve always wanted.