The heart of NYU Wagner's programs is our faculty. An amalgam of full-time, clinical/research/visiting, and adjunct professors, they are outstanding teachers, expert researchers and committed practitioners.
Networking is more than collecting other peoples' business cards or asking people for a job. Networking is an opportunity to expand your pool of professional contacts. It puts you in touch with people you might not otherwise encounter. It opens doors. It offers opportunities.
When taken seriously, networking acknowledges the importance of building and maintaining relationships with other people in and out of your field. It assumes that we need each other, not just to get our next job, but to succeed in our current roles. It assumes that none of us knows all we need to know.
Networking involves reciprocity. It takes work. People with good networking skills follow-up. They remember what they've learned. They think to send other people notes to thank them for a meeting or send on an article they've read that they think might interest the other person. They often refer colleagues on to others in their networks and are willing to act as resources for each other.
You'll hear a lot of talk about finding a mentor. Mentors can be incredibly useful, but you can't "get" a mentor, you have to build a relationship with someone who can act as a mentor. Instead of focusing your energies on finding that perfect mentor, you should form broad networks of work alliances that have the potential to enhance your organizational experience and career development. These "developmental relationships" can be between superiors and subordinates, peers and colleagues, and what you get out of them is dependent on your needs, as well as the nature of the relationship.
Wagner and NYU offer numerous opportunities for students to come together around common themes or shared interests. Participation in student group activities can help you demonstrate existing skills, practice new competencies, develop content knowledge, and deepen your pool of professional contacts. You may or may not have been active in student affairs in college. We encourage you to consider the benefits of joining or taking a leadership role in a student group during graduate school from a professional development perspective. Know that prospective employers often consider student leadership roles as indicators of leadership potential.
Identify those groups with which you have an affinity or ones that you want to learn more about. Decide how much of a role you want these groups to play in Composing Your Career. As a beginning, you might start small and attend a meeting of a group in which you're interested and talk with current student leadership about ways to get involved with activities.
New York City and NYU are full of events related to public service. Events can provide an easy way to explore new ideas or interests, learn about new developments in a field, challenge your assumptions, expand your content knowledge, and meet people.
Professional associations offer a network almost by definition. Some are membership based, with dues and considerable structure, including regular conferences, journals or other membership services. Others are less formal. Whatever your field or your area of interest, professional associations offer a way to keep in touch with the developments in the field and other professionals.