Networking at Marshall
Under the scorching August sun I spent an hour on move-in day walking and talking with a senior Marshall student who wanted to give me the lowdown on all things USC. We discussed a plethora of relevant topics in that hour, but the idea that he really emphasized and that stuck with me most was the importance of who you know.
“It’s not the classes you take, but the hands you shake,” he explained, impressing upon me an understanding of how crucial networking is.
In my roughly six months as a USC Marshall student, I’ve found that “networking” is quite a buzzword around here, particularly among business students. This could perhaps be attributed to the fact that we are offered so many opportunities to network. In nearly every email from Marshall Career Services is information about a networking event or workshop, which ingrains the importance of networking into the minds of business students across campus. Furthermore, the possibilities created by expanding one’s network are unlimited; you never know what doors you might open by simply introducing yourself to someone, so don’t be afraid to branch out and make connections regardless of whether or not it may lead to something substantial.
Personally, I have found the relationships I’ve built with other students and professors to be very rewarding, despite the fact that the connections I’ve made freshman year haven’t developed into professional opportunities (yet). Especially as a student in the WBB Program, meeting peers from various parts of the world and learning more about them and their individual stories is interesting in itself. The possibility that being acquainted with them might lead to great career opportunities is just an added bonus.
In this sense, “it’s not the classes you take, but the hands you shake” conveys two meanings. Firstly, meeting new people obviously can impact how a future career turns out; secondly and perhaps more importantly, however, the people you add to your network during your college career ultimately are what shape your experience to make it meaningful and memorable.