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Networking (From Home)

June 25, 2020 — 

You know you’re supposed to network because it’s great for your career, but that’s harder to do when you’re social distancing. Networking allows you to get career advice and support, and explore ways to gain experience and confidence as you travel along your career journey. It is also a great opportunity to learn from others about what an occupation is really about, and it can connect you to job opportunities. Luckily, UM offers plenty of digital options to make these valuable connections.

UM Café. If you haven’t signed up for UM Café yet, now is the time to grow your network! UM Café, powered by Ten Thousand Coffees and supported by RBC Future Launch, matches students and UM alumni. This digital platform was built for networking and it’s free! By registering, you will be matched with mentors based on occupational goals, interests and skills. You will receive a monthly introduction to a mentor and have access to a database of alumni and industry partners with various skill sets who are ready and willing to have career conversations with students.  It’s a great way to connect with like-minded people and build your network. Visit UM Café for more information and to register today!

Career Mentor Program.Career Services’ Career Mentor Program facilitates connections between students and industry professionals to explore your career options. Students are matched with a professional for a one-hour informational interview, where you can pick your mentor’s brain about their career. When you join the Career Mentor Program, you will be invited to attend a virtual session to help you prepare for your informational interview. It will cover topics including online platforms, what to wear, what to ask and how to make the most of your conversation.  You can match with as many professionals as you like so you can compare occupational ideas or deeply explore an industry of interest. The program opens September 8 and will be administered online. To learn more, visit the websiteand email cmp [at] umanitoba [dot] ca to register.

LinkedIn.LinkedIn is an invaluableresource when building your network. It enables you to establish a professional online presence in a community designed to showcase your skills and connect professionally with others. You can also research possible career paths by viewing profiles. Since LinkedIn is like a digital resumé, you can see professionals’ career trajectories and get inspiration for your own. If you want to learn how to get the most from this platform, Career Services offers regular LinkedIn workshops. Sign up on careerCONNECT. You can also meet with a career consultant for feedback on your profile and to discuss your LinkedIn strategy.

Join your professional association. Many professional and industry associations  virtually support their members, offering digital workshops, online networking events and virtual meetings. Often, reduced-rate or free student memberships are available to make joining more accessible. By attending virtual events (and being an engaged audience member) or by reaching out directly to other association members, you can meet new people who can help you along your career journey. To explore which associations are most relevant to your career goals, check out our occupations library, where we include all kinds of helpful occupational information to get you started.

Extra help with networking. Networking is possible with a little creativity, a touch of bravery and an awareness of the various networking platforms that are available to support you. Career Services can help you design a networking game plan. Current students and alumni, up to six months after convocation, can access individual career help, including networking support and suggestions. To book an appointment, call 204-474-9456 or email cs [dot] receptionist [at] umanitoba [dot] ca. All alumni and students are also welcome to attend our networking workshops: register on CareerCONNECT.

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