Networking can be done in so many different ways and can benefit a person personally and professionally. With technology being at the peak that it is and with over three separate generations experiencing the newly developed technology, it enables many people to meet, form relationships and most importantly network with many people from various parts of the world. Through our grand technology, networking should be a very influential concept for college students.
But there is one form of technology that is hindering the phenomena of networking. Cell phones are contributing to the downfall of this theory, due to each person using their cell phones so frequently that they are not meeting potential colleagues, partners and contacts the old fashion way: introducing themselves to a stranger on campus.
The saying, “It’s not what you do, it’s who you know,” has proved to be accurate time and time again. This is why networking with individuals throughout the community and society is valuable to recent graduates. Students are waiting to network, and after graduation many realize that they do not know many of their fellow graduates, the individuals that they would have been able to call upon when the time comes to send out resumes.
Many students are not taking advantage of the networking opportunities that a college campus provides because everyone is on their cell phones. In any given elevator at any time of the day students, enjoying the 45-second lift to their next destination, have their heads down concentrating on the text message that they are sending to a friend and are not meeting potential future contacts.
Throughout the halls and lush greenery all around campus students walk by each other with their cell phones pressed to their ear, passing by others with the same attachment to that person’s ear, never getting to know one another.
Cell phones are indeed a form of networking, but the problem lies with the fact that those on cell phones are only networking with a small group of individuals who they communicate with on a regular basis. Within a group, most of its members have the same interests and careers. When one member decides to change their career plans they are unable to contact another individual outside of the group for a contact inside their new field or a referral, or even a reference simply because they never took the time and opportunity to create a larger contact list.
It is a very familiar scene to see the majority of people on campus using their cell phones, but what’s occurring is not only a lack of networking, but also a lack of communication, a quality that is necessary in order to be successful in school as well as in any career. Communication can further a career very quickly. Communicating well is an essential quality, which is the first to be noted in an interview.
College is one of the few institutions that communication skills can be practiced and perfected without any consequences, but the students of today are not taking advantage of this opportunity.
As a part of our curriculum at CSUN, we have communication classes that provide students with the understanding and ability of public speaking. However, they lack the educational tool of an explanation as to how communication and being a strong communicator can be the tool that makes the concept of a decent job certain.
It will be through networking and communicating with each other that will enable us students to have those contacts that will get us into the door for an interview. Cell phones are a must in today’s world, but not for networking.