This post goes out to every undergraduate who has walked by a sign that says “interested in graduate school, stop in” and passed right by.Networking is everything. Well, not everything, but it will definitely give you a definitive edge.
Meet people, talk to students, and ask professors for help. Never shy away from an open door.
This is a simple concept to hear but a hard one to follow. The concept also gets a bit metaphorical. Just remember to always talk to new people. You are never sure who you are going to meet or how they are going to affect your life.
One of my favorite professors once said, “you should learn something new everyday, but you don’t know who or what it will come from.” Just being present is half the battle.
I am terrible at reaching out to professors, meeting new people, and getting outside of my comfort zone. I am not a huge advocate of pestering new faculty members, but I do know how important it is to be open to new experiences. If you don’t go outside you will escape the rain, but you will never see the sunshine.
So, the next time a student is coming to your campus to talk about their experience of getting into graduate school, the next time a professor is willing to stay after class to hear about your hopes and dreams, the next time you could go to a conference to hear professionals speak about their work, the next time there is a professional panel, or the next time you have the opportunity to learn something new, take it! Take it, take it, take it!
Grow, learn, and develop into a better person. Life is a journey. It’s not about the destination, it’s about how you got there. Take the road less traveled and be better for it.