Networking at pre-college programs

Students should network at pre-college programs to make connections for their future.

Participating in a pre-college program can give students direction and guidance towards their future. While participating in a pre-college program, students are experiencing a college campus, different majors and career opportunities to help them put the puzzle pieces together for their educational plan. They will also be interacting with faculty and staff from the university or college as well as other student participants in the program. Because of this, students should take advantage of the different opportunities to network and make connections with different people.

According to the Business Dictionary, networking is creating a group of acquaintances and associates and keeping it active through regular communication for mutual benefit. Connecting to people at pre-college programs can help participants continue to get the information needed to help them prepare for college. The key is once connections are made, students should take the initiative to follow up with their contacts.

Michigan State University Extension has the following suggestions for who to connect with in a pre-college program and ways to follow up.

  • Other student participants. Connecting with other student participants can assist in sharing ideas for college planning and the college application process. They can also be future roommates (if you attend the same college), business partners or co-workers.
  • Program coordinators. Program coordinators have connections to faculty members in their college and academic departments. They can be a resource to connect students to other people and information. They can also recommend the people to talk to about the college, department of admissions process.
  • College faculty. If a student is interested in the majors the college offers, college faculty in academic departments can be a good resource on the type of classes to take to prepare for that major.
  • Admissions representatives. If admissions presentations are given or if a visit is made to this office, stay connected with them to gain more information about the prospective college and learn more about the admissions and financial aid process.

As the connections are being made, students should share their connections with their parents. This will give the parents an opportunity to work with their child for college planning and assist in getting the information needed to help their child make their decision for higher education. The students can utilize their college connections to not only stay in contact with them, but also follow-up for a college visit to meet face-to-face with the program coordinator, college faculty member and the admissions representative to get more in-depth information.

Students can take the initiative to build their network for college during a pre-college program. It can have benefits for their college preparation and assist them in preparing for their future.

Michigan State University Extension and Michigan 4-H Youth Development help to prepare young people for successful futures. As a result of career exploration and workforce preparation activities, thousands of Michigan youth are better equipped to make important decisions about their professional future, ready to contribute to the workforce and able to take fiscal responsibility in their personal lives.

To learn about the positive impact of Michigan 4-H youth career preparation, money management and entrepreneurship programs, read the 2016 Impact Report: “Preparing Michigan Youth for Future Employment.”

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