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Networking 101: How to Make Connections

posted by LIM College

by Gina Aristarco

We’ve all heard it before: It’s not what you know. It’s WHO you know.

This is true in just about any industry and particularly in fashion. Networking allows you to make connections that could lead to your next interview, a big volunteer opportunity, or even your new job. Below, I have compiled my five biggest tips to networking so you will be able to conquer the fashion industry!

1. Embrace the LinkedIn community
Creating a LinkedIn account is necessary in today’s media-focused world. It’s like Facebook for professionals that allows you to connect with, message, and update other professionals in your field. LIM’s career classes also require students to make LinkedIn accounts, so you might as well get started!

2. Take advantage of your resources
Everyone around you at LIM is a resource to getting ahead. Professors, other students, and friends of friends can connect you with unlikely people in the industry. Ask around, and see if anyone you know can help you build your network!

3. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there
Get comfortable with meeting new people! If you are too timid to approach someone at an event with your 30 second elevator pitch, it is going to be difficult for you to get noticed. Chatting with strangers is also a professional quality that employers love to see!

4. Treat every opportunity as a networking experience
From LIM hosted events to in-class guest speakers, always have your business cards on deck! Even if the connection does not directly do much for your network, it is a good test-run to become more comfortable networking.

5. Don’t burn bridges — you never know who knows who
I cannot stress this one enough. Although you might have hated that certain retail job where your boss was truly out to get you, you must remain professional. That same terrible boss could end up working on the corporate side of the company where you are hoping to intern. It would be much easier to get your foot in the door if they remembered you as a hard-working employee versus them hearing you trash talking them to your co-workers.

Although New York is a huge place to live and work, it can truly be a small world at times when you connect the dots of who knows who. So get yourself out there, and start building your network! 

Topics: fashion industry, fashion careers, fashion internships, Student Advice