Being an adult or access learner at university can lead to feelings of isolation, due to the reasons discussed before. Networking is a great way to ensure you have a circle of support always surrounding you. This circle can provide academic feedback, career guidance and personal advice. Making the process a lot easier! Knowing how to build such a comprehensive support circle (or where to start) can be quite difficult.
What is networking? “its not what you know, its who you know”
Networking is building up relationships with various contacts who can help you along your journey as an adult learner and your subsequential career. How can it help? Networking allows you to build up a support circle who can provide you with advice and feedback on a variety of topics – whether it be in your studies, your future career or personal challenges.
Why does networking not have to be a strictly career exercise?
When people hear the word “networking”, they think of businesspeople in suits at a conference, but that’s only one meaning. Networking can be as informal as you like, from just a chat to an email networking occurs in a variety of settings and channels. It can help you feel at ease about some of the problems you face for example, if you are in regular contact with other adult learners facing similar issues.
Top tips – academically, career wise, and socially?
- Academically – Conversations in lectures with your peers about content, ask questions of lecturers and tutors – use office hours and academic advisors!!!
- Career – LinkedIn (Great place to start), attend career events, contact those in your field and ask to shadow.
- Socially – Societies, have conversations with peers in lectures, try and set up WhatsApp group or study group with peers/other adult learners.