I really enjoy the content and skills that I am learning in my Higher Education and Student Affairs grad program. However, one of my research interests lies in Asian American issues and there was no specific concentration in my grad program. So, how did I work my magic to find a mentor and discover my research interests? Networking.
Networking doesn’t sound fun. And sometimes, it isn’t. But when you do it effectively and right, it can be fun. So how did I find a mentor who took me on for an independent study in Asian American studies? I attended events that were fun for me. When I first came to IU, I researched resources that I was interested in taking advantage of. I saw that IU had an Asian Cultural Center. I immediately signed up for their listserv, and attended their lectures and social events. I was lucky and attended the right lecture in which my mentor was a guest speaker. After the lecture, I approached her to talk about the subject and my interests. Right there, my mentor offered to do an independent study with me. My independent study last fall led me to a teaching assistant position within the department of sociology as well as additional electives that I am taking to supplement my higher education and masters program. All of this happened because I attended a lecture that I found out that was fun.
For additional tips on how to network without being fake, check out this helpful video courtesy of Marie Forleo: 8 Tips to Networking without Being Fake