Networking in High School: The What, Why, and How

A Product of SuccessBaseMass and the Yale School of Medicine

Networking is usually nerve wracking for high school students, bringing thoughts of experienced professionals talking about their careers at galas and cocktail parties. In reality, networking is multifaceted, and is for people of all ages. Read on to learn what building a network really means, and different methods to doing it. You’ll likely realize that you’ve already started!

What is Networking?

Networking is the process of communicating with others to share information, and to form new relationships. This means that networking can include helping a friend understand a certain math concept, telling an aunt aunt about a niche store you’ve seen downtown, or sharing a cooking recipe with a teacher!

Why in high school?

High school is the best time to start networking! Not only will practicing now prepare you for the future, but you can also be introduced to new skills and opportunities that support your growth. Networking will help you join extracurriculars of your interest, learn to write cover letters, and find amazing jobs or internships.

Benefits That May Come From Networking

Though networking is mainly known for increased job opportunities, there are several other benefits! Some include:

Job shadowing - Experience a day in the life of someone working in your dream career!

Personal Tour of Company/College

  • Learning new skills

    • Writing/structuring a resume

    • Writing a professional email

    • Writing a cover letter

    • How to present yourself during an interview

Connections to jobs/internships

Connections to scholarships

Someone becoming a reference or writing a letter of recommendation

Invitations to conferences/workshops

Connection to a professional in your field of interest (Talk to them! Ask questions!)

Common Networking Methods
Networking comes in several forms, so you’re likely networking without realizing it! Below are a few of the most common methods:

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  1. Talking to Teachers, Guidance Counselors, or Friends about Your Interests

When telling others about your interests or goals for the future, you gain access to opportunities they hear about, or skill sets they offer! In a way, their network becomes your network - you can be connected to professionals in your field of interest that are colleagues of theirs, or be the first person on their mind when coming across an internship opportunity.