Putting Yourself Out There, As A Part Of Career Prep
By Mia Bustillo Ramirez, Stride Student Advisor
Before joining my Stride Career Prep school, I’d always been told, “Put yourself out there!” I’d also been told, “Brag about your achievements!” These two pieces of generic advise were specifically geared towards the concept of networking. And, here’s one of my personal favorites, as well… “Don’t be shy!”
OK, noted. But, what is really meant by “Put yourself out there?” And, even further, how will doing that help me professionally?
Although I’m still in high school, I’ve already met a fair amount of people who say these phrases. But, here's the catch… they never really explain what to do (exactly), or how to do it. As a high school student, who eventually learned how to network, I wanted to share some tips on how to network well, especially if you’re in a Stride Career Prep school.
First, it is important to understand that networking is a form of essential and varied interactions. Its purpose is to connect you with professionals in any area of the working world. Network connections can help you to join a workplace, get an individual to support you as a reference, help with the exchange of vital career advice, or to simply form key friendships.
So, how can you begin networking, as a high school student? Well, there are so many resources out there to help you begin on this fun journey! One that I began using initially was Tallo. Tallo is an online resource, where you can make and display an academic yet professional profile. You can add your grades, volunteer and work experiences, and even display digital badges provided by your Stride Career Prep school! Most importantly, you’ll even get the chance to connect with universities and companies that pique your interest! Recently, Tallo also released a ‘Jobs’ tab, where you can apply to internships. Pretty cool, right?!
Once you’re comfortable with Tallo, then I’d suggest moving on to LinkedIn. This website is very similar to Tallo, since you can make a professional profile and display all of your work experiences. But, with LinkedIn, you can also directly message companies and other users. Let’s say you see the profile of a person who works in your dream career field. Instead of scrolling past them, you can instantly message them! Make sure to introduce yourself in a professional manner. Perhaps mention that you’re a student, and tell them that you are interested in the career trajectory they’ve managed to achieve. Then, you can politely ask if they have any tips on how they’ve gotten to where they are today. The next thing you know, you’ve networked for the first time! See, it’s not too bad!
You might now be asking, ‘Well, Mia, does networking really work?” To tell you the truth… it does work! How do you think you’ve come to read this blog? Yes, that’s right! I was able to get to the position I’m in today through networking! Through a school meeting, I was able to network with one of the Stride Student Success Coaches, and after forming a great relationship with them, I was then able to join the Stride Student Advisory Council!
I want you to think about the phrase ‘putting yourself out there’ again. Now that you know what it is, and how to do it, I challenge YOU to network! Have fun!
Are you ready to find an internship, to aid in your professional development and career prep? Be sure to check out Stride Internship Search Tool: https://www.stridelearning.com/career-prep/internships.html
And, you can read another terrific blog post by a Stride Student Advisor about discovering the right internship for you, here!
To learn more about Stride Career Prep's Student Advisory Council, make sure to visit https://www.k12.com/stride-career-prep/about/student-advisory-council.html
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