Everyone talks about how important it is to build your professional network to advance in your career, but getting started can feel awkward or intimidating.
If that feeling is holding you back, remember that networking is just another form of relationship building–a process rooted in genuine curiosity and a desire to get to know the other person well. To begin:
Think about what you’re interested in talking about or who you might want to learn from or share your aspirations with. You can start the conversation with those you know, such as your peers, professors, mentors, current and past co-workers, and field supervisors. They may even recommend others to reach out to.
At the same time, don’t be afraid to cold contact those you don’t yet know. Online networking platforms liked LinkedIn make it easier to connect with others, particularly those within your school network, such as CSSW’s LinkedIn Group, and other interest-based communities.
Don’t limit yourself to “networking” platforms and events either. Any opportunity where you can engage with others with shared interests and goals, including social and community events, volunteer activities, and online forums, is a prime way to bridge a new connection.
Whomever you choose to connect with, make sure that the engagement isn’t one-sided or transactional. Just like in any meaningful relationship, even if you’re the one asking for insights and advice, you can demonstrate your respect and appreciation by letting them know how their support impacted you or sharing information and resources that may be of benefit to them.
Good Shepherd Services is hosting a Virtual Information Session and Career Fair on Thursday, November 4, 2021, from 12:00 – 3:00 PM ET with a strong focus on Social Work careers.
Meet with Social Workers from different program areas (Foster Care, Prevention, Domestic Violence, Residential and School based programs), hear how their work impacts NYC communities, get a glimpse into a day-in-the-life of various roles, and find out what career tracks are available to you.
Those from all experience levels are invited to join.
The offices of Career Services and Leadership Management; Development and Alumni Relations; and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion are pleased to invite students to our 4th Annual Communities of Color Virtual Networking Event on Thursday, October 28.
All those who identify as students of color/BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) are encouraged to participate!
This is a great opportunity to meet and mingle with a group of distinguished alumni of color, learn about their career paths and trajectories, and get tips and advice on navigating your own path as a professional of color in a dedicated virtual support space.
The list of featured alumni can be found below.
Thursday, October 28 6:30 – 8:00 pm ET Platform: Zoom
Pre-registration is required.
Sign up here using your LionMail account by Tuesday, October 26. We ask that you only register if you are able to attend.
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!
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
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.
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!
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
For general questions about our alumni mentors, please email Jennifer March at [email protected].