Networking with Professors

As highlighted in an article by Live Career, “learning how to connect with your peers, professors, and community is crucial for both personal and professional development”.

Professors, in particular, are invaluable resources from whom you can learn more about different areas of interest and opportunities within the field.

Wondering how to best connect with them beyond the classroom? Here are a few tips to keep in mind, whether you’re just starting the program or continuing:

    • Research your professors to get a better sense of their background, interests, and achievements
    • When reaching out to schedule a meeting, provide a very brief overview of your goals and interests and why you want to meet (e.g. what you hope to learn)
    • Make the most of the time you have with them by coming prepared with targeted questions
    • In all your interactions, whether virtual or in-person, be open, sincere, and mindful of how you communicate
    • Ask for feedback and keep them updated on any developments, especially if you’ve followed through on any advice they gave you

Professors will likely be more receptive to your outreach while you’re a student, so be sure to take advantage of the opportunity before you graduate. This also applies to building relationships with peers, supervisors, and administrators. Investing in this effort will not only help you stand out and stay memorable, but it can also potentially open doors for years to come!

Lead with Curiosity When Networking

The idea of networking can be anxiety-provoking for many, no matter what career stage they’re in, leading some to avoid it. Yet, it still remains the number one strategy to land opportunities and an essential component of one’s career development.

Networking is more than talking to strangers; it is a process of building relationships towards a mutual exchange of support, resources, and information. It is also a way of letting others know your skills and passions and getting noticed in the field. (You can’t get noticed if people don’t know you!)

Not sure how to get started? Then lead with your curiosity.

Perhaps you’re wondering what you can do with your degree or concentration or how others with similar backgrounds and experiences landed their roles. Or maybe you’re still exploring and want to know different opportunities you might find meaningful. Find people with direct knowledge of your interest area and start a conversation:

    • Faculty, supervisors and colleagues in field, peers, and alumni currently working in your field of interest
    • Professionals you admire regardless of their background whom you can connect with through industry events, professional associations, or virtual networking communities, such as those on LinkedIn
    • Recruiters, hiring managers, and organizational representatives hosting information sessions and related recruitment and networking activities

Don’t forget that professionals outside your immediate scope of interest can also possess valuable insights, including how to effectively transition from student to professional, advance to leadership positions, or maintain work-life balance and self-care.

Whomever you choose to reach out to, make sure to tailor your conversation to the individual and assess what specifically you hope to learn from them so you can identify your next steps.

If the idea of networking and informational interviewing still feels intimidating, remember that you don’t need to know everything to have a fruitful conversation. Asking questions like “How do I get started?” or “Where do I go from here?” are acceptable conversation starters, particularly with social work educators and alumni. The main goal is to start somewhere!

More on networking for social workers

NASW-NYC Presents: Paving the Way – A Conversation About Field Placement in the COVID-19 Environment | Wednesday, April 7

Shared by the NASW-NYC Chapter:

The NASW-NYC CARES Member Ambassador program is proud to present the second virtual student symposium, designed to support NYC social work students, on Wednesday, April 7, 2021 at 7:00 pm EST. Based on the overwhelming responses from attendees of the student town hall held in the fall semester that focused on student experience in the era of virtual learning, the spring 2021 student symposium will focus on field placement in the COVID-19 environment.

The goals for this event:

    • Discuss and share field placement experiences in the COVID-19 environment
    • Hear from social work professionals who work in field placement
    • Network with students of social work and social work professionals in NYC
    • Get insight, resources, and tips for your own field placement journey
    • Get updated on how you can become involved and engaged with the chapter if you’re a new grad or soon to graduate

Visit www.naswnyc.org/SpringSS2021 to register and learn more.

ADA accommodation requests and questions should be emailed to [email protected].

This is a FREE event open to all NYC students of social work!
Open to both NASW Members & Non-Members!

First Year Students Encouraged to Join!

NASW-NYC Honors Social Work Month 2021 with Event Series

Shared by the NASW-NYC Chapter:

The NASW-NYC Chapter is proud to announce the first NASW-NYC Social Work Month Series:

Committed to promoting the value and visibility of the social work profession and enhancing the profession’s credibility and influence at state and local levels, the NASW-NYC has designed various events over the course of the month that speak to the scope of social work.

This Social Work Month series is designed to offer opportunities for engagement, networking, learning, and more to social workers across the five boroughs, reminding us all of the essential importance of social workers and exemplifying the 2021 Social Work Month theme of NASW. In the era of COVID-19 and the changes and issues it has brought, this series hopes to encourage and support our NYC social workers.

The series is FREE (unless otherwise indicated) and open to all social workers of all levels and fields, including students.

WEEK ONE of the Social Work Month Series includes L.E.A.D and a FREE CE Opportunity with the NYC Commission on Human Rights worth 2 CE Contact Hours!

Click here to view the full schedule and details and to register.

Questions about the NASW-NYC Social Work Month Series should be directed to [email protected]

Flash mentoring is back – Sign up to get career advice and support from alumni!

The Office of Alumni Relations and Office of Career Services and Leadership Management are pleased to resume our career mentorship program for the spring semester!

The program will run from Monday, February 1 through Friday, May 28. Requests will be accepted until Friday, May 14.

 

Mentoring Program Overview

Through this program, students can request to connect with up to 3 alums per month for 1:1 conversations to:

    • Gain insights and perspectives about a career path, field, organization, or industry;
    • Get advice about career planning, searching and applying for jobs (including resume writing), networking, interviewing, or navigating life after CSSW; OR
    • Seek support in general from someone who’s been in your shoes as a student

Interested?

    1. Fill out this mentoring program interest form. On the form, you will find a link to a directory with a list of more than 300 alumni volunteer mentors who are eager to meet you! Select the one you’re interested in meeting. Note that you will have to complete this form for each request.
    2. After submitting the form, you will receive an email confirmation as well as an introductory email from Jennifer March from Alumni Relations connecting you to the alum of choice within a few business days. If you don’t hear from Jennifer in that time frame, please email her directly at [email protected] to follow up.
    3. Once you receive the email, it will be your responsibility to arrange a meeting directly with the alum using the contact information provided. While Zoom meetings are recommended, you can choose a platform that works best for both you and the alum.

Remember: This is NOT a forum to ask for a job or a recommendation for a job, but rather an opportunity to gather valuable information based on their knowledge and expertise.

After the initial meeting, it will be up to you and the alum to decide whether to continue to stay in touch.

Questions?

For general questions about our alumni mentors, please email Jennifer March at [email protected].

For guidance on how to prepare for a meeting, refer to our Informational Interview Guide. You can also view free, on-demand webinars on informational interviewing (and other career development topics) from LinkedIn Learning, or schedule an appointment with the career team to discuss further.

We hope you take advantage of this special opportunity!

Navigating the Job Search During Challenging Times

The global COVID-19 pandemic, sociopolitical climate, and accompanying distress — particularly for BIPOC communities that have been disproportionately impacted — have brought added challenges to an already stressful job-hunt process. For those graduating next spring, these challenges may feel particularly pressing.

The importance of self-care cannot be understated, especially during these times, and we encourage prioritizing it in your search and overall career management strategy. This may include monitoring your energy; setting mini-goals, and adjusting them as needed; as well as finding support and community within and outside of your personal, professional, and CSSW network, including one-on-one appointments with our office.

Students can receive additional support through our mentorship program, a new initiative started in the spring that facilitates connections to alumni for career insights and advice. BIPOC-identified students can also participate in our upcoming Communities of Color event, an annual program designed to connect and engage students and alumni of color in candid career conversations within a dedicated support space.

See below for more tips and resources on navigating the job search, as highlighted in last week’s webinar:

    • Treat job searching as a process. Allow time to reflect on how you can contribute to an organization so that you can tailor your search for opportunities that speak to your strengths, interests, and values.
    • Break down the process into smaller, achievable parts. These may include clarifying your goals and direction through a self-assessment, establishing your target list by conducting research on organizations that have missions that you care about, and learning more about career options and opportunities through informational interviews.
    • Create a timeline and action plan using organizers to track your progress. This will allow you to recognize and celebrate mini-wins that you achieve along the way, which in turn can help you stay motivated and focused.

Remember, you’re not alone on this journey — there’s a community you can turn to for support. Take a moment to assess what networks and supports might be most helpful for you, not only for landing a meaningful role but also for maintaining your momentum and well-being for the long haul.

If you missed our webinar, you can find the presentation slides in Career Connect within our Document Library under the Workshops / Webinars / Presentations folder.

Making the Most of Informational Interviews

Does the idea of conducting informational interviews feel intimidating?

Consider thinking of them as “curiosity conversations”—opportunities to make meaningful connections with folx in your field and gain insights and advice that will help you move forward in your career development.

If you missed our information interviewing webinar last week, here are some key takeaways:

    • Clarify your interests, needs, and goals to assess what knowledge and insights will help you move forward in your career exploration.
    • Identify contacts from your network who possess the background or expertise in your area of interest, including through the CSSW LinkedIn Group or career mentoring program for students.
    • Prepare a brief overview of your professional experience and an agenda for the meeting to ensure you leave with your “must” takeaways.
    • Ask thoughtful questions that can provide actionable insights and build upon what you already know.
    • Make sure to follow-up with a thank you note and keep the contact up-to-date on your progress.

You can find the presentation slides in Career Connect within our Document Library under the Workshops / Webinars / Presentations folder.

Get Career Advice from an Alum through our Fall 2020 Mentorship Program!

The Office of Alumni Relations and Office of Career Services and Leadership Management are pleased to offer a special opportunity to meet virtually with alumni for career mentoring!

Mentoring Program Overview

Through this program, students can request to connect with up to 2 alums per month for 1:1 conversations to:

    • Gain insights and perspectives about a career path, field, organization, or industry;
    • Get advice about career planning, searching and applying for jobs (including resume writing), networking, interviewing, or navigating life after CSSW; OR
    • Seek support in general from someone who’s been in your shoes as a student

Interested? 

    1. Fill out this mentoring program interest form. On the form, you will find a link to a directory with a list of all available volunteer mentors. Select the one you’re interested in meeting. Note that you will have to complete this form for each request.
    2. After submitting the form, you will receive an email confirmation as well as an introductory email from Jennifer March from Alumni Relations connecting you to the alum of choice within 2 business days. If you don’t hear from Jennifer in that time frame, please email her at [email protected].
    3. Once you receive the email, it will be your responsibility to arrange a meeting directly with the alum using the contact information provided. While Zoom meetings are recommended, you can choose a platform that works best for both you and the alum.

Remember: This is NOT a forum to ask for a job or a recommendation for a job, but rather an opportunity to gather valuable information based on their knowledge and expertise.

After the initial meeting, it will be up to you and the alum to decide whether to stay in touch.

For more information, refer to our program overview.

Questions?

For general questions about our alumni mentors, please email Jennifer March at [email protected].
You can also refer to our Informational Interview Guide or schedule an appointment with our office to discuss your questions further.
We hope you take advantage of this opportunity!