California State University, Monterey Bay (CSUMB) offered another useful workshop for helping students build their social capital on Sept. 28. Hosted by Corin White, Undergraduate Research Opportunities Center (UROC) curriculum research associate, the event taught students ways to build a network strategy and identify mentors.
What is social capital?
Social capital consists of relationships among people. Having connections can help enable a better network. Identifying people or “mentors” as White describes them is key.
To be able to network, looking at the types and roles of people in our lives is important. There are five different types to look at when considering who to contact for advice or job opportunities.
- The friend – labeled as the “outsider” can be someone you trust and that would be able to see the connection between personal and professional.
- The role model – possesses the skills you are wanting to develop pertaining to possible job interests
- The insider – the institutional perspective, outside of your “unit/group/department.”
- The veteran – labeled as the “OG” has a leadership role and a wealth of experience
- The teacher – can be a mix of the previous four mentioned: friend, role model, insider or veteran depending on how you choose to work with them.
The purpose of these interviews finds another way to obtain information on a career path, position, scholarship or even pursuing graduate school. It is advised to conduct at least three informational interviews within a career path or somewhere of interest.
By doing so, whether a student is looking for a job or applying for graduate school, they can take the information and advice provided in each interview and apply it to their overall career goal.
LinkedIn is a strong tool in expanding one’s network of people to reach out to.
Whether it is done in-person or through email, reaching out can be beneficial. One should include where they work or what program/position they are interested in, basing it on how one would like more information on the person’s experiences, and how they got to where they are.
An easy starting point to building one’s social capital and network is to join “UROC @ CSU Monterey Bay” LinkedIn Group and use the platform to connect with professionals in one’s field of interest.
Sitting down and thinking about those close to you whether professionally or personally can make the difference. If anyone is interested in gaining more guidance in reaching out to peers or mentors, reach out to White or UROC for further information.