Friday, September 7, 2012

It's All About the Networking


            “It’s all about the networking,” was always one of my father’s favorite lines.  But this statement means very little without some context.  What he meant is that the more people you know, the easier your life will be.
            In fiction, the king of networking is Don Corleone.  The Godfather will befriend anyone, doing favors—no questions asked.  All he asks in return is friendship, and that should he ever call on his friend for a favor, they should oblige him.  Thus he built an incredible network.  In return for small favors, he gained access to a vast wealth of resources.
            Vito Corleone came to New York, from Italy, with nothing.  Once there, he reached out and made friends that would prove pivotal in his success.  Thereafter he raised a family and accrued a massive amount of wealth.
            Just like the Godfather came to America alone, freshmen in college have a very similar experience.  Uprooted from our homes, families, and friends, we are faced with the challenge of starting over.  While some may know a few fellow students before setting foot on campus, there are still, undoubtedly, thousands of strangers to meet.
            While I don’t have any intentions of being a Mafioso, like Don Corleone, I’d still like to build my network.  Making a whole new set of friends is no simple task.  There are so many faces on campus, and it’s hard to know where to start.  The dorm, and classes are an obvious starting place, but that might not be enough.
            Many students join clubs, organizations, a capella groups, or sports teams.  The more involvement you have, the more people you’ll meet.  As for me, I’m not quite sure where I stand.  I was lucky enough to know a few people coming in, and I’ve met some amazing people in my hall.  I’ve played some basketball and gone to my first few classes, where I’ve met several others as well.
            Still, it’s my hope that the friendships I’ve made so far are just the beginning.  With a class of 1300 peers as well as 3 grades of older students, the next four years seem promising.  In some ways, college offers networking opportunities that you will never find anywhere else.  So take advantage; get out of your dorm—you won’t regret it.