Encouraging me to sign up to be on the email list for a club (economics or finances or something I'm not really interested in), a fellow student told me "You can never do enough networking in college".
I guess I already knew this. The statement has stuck with me. The idea has stuck with me. It's left me feeling guilty sometimes, looking at my vast range of college activities: going to class, doing homework, hanging out with my standard group of friends, eating, sleeping. There are clubs on campus, a few that I'm interested in, but I haven't really gotten myself interested enough to attend many meetings or events.
At some point in the past couple days I realized something: it's probably more important for me, right now, to network among adults than to network among my peers. Peers may be useful resources in the future, and they may know people now... but those already in the working world can get me great connections now.
That said, I went to go see Revenge of the Electric Car on Wednesday (the West Coast premiere of the sequel to Who Killed the Electric Car... right in my hometown! More on that later, hopefully). I told one of my high school teachers about it, and he showed up also. We were talking, and somewhere in the course of the conversation he mentioned someone I should meet. A few minutes later, she walked into the theater. So he was able to introduce us after the movie.
Holding her business card, I ran back inside and excitedly gushed to a staff member I know that I'd just been introduced to someone who works in the field I want to go into. He grinned. "You never know when you're going to meet that person who changes your life."
She wanted to talk with me more, so we scheduled time to talk on the phone. After a bit of conversation, she asked what I wanted. I told her, basically, I want more to do this summer. So she offered me an internship: blogging about topics related to sustainability. Something I originally wanted to do with this blog but never got around to. This is a woman who knows people. Hopefully I'll soon know these people as well.
I was remembering the young man who gave me the tip about networking, convincing me to (however reluctantly) sign up for the mailing list for that club. I never did get any emails from them.