College events, workshops, or conferences

Another effective method to network during the summer is to attend events, workshops, or conferences related to your academic passions. While these activities are usually more short-term, they provide ways to meet people more established in your field and others who are in your same boat. Especially at universities, community centers, or museums, you can find events that might fit your schedule and are also around a scholarly theme that interests you. For example, if you're a writer, you might look for a weeklong writing custom workshop. The community formed there may dissolve physically, but you might meet people with whom you can keep in touch with afterward.

Participate in professional social media and online communities

Especially if you're traveling, going abroad, or will be in a different city than your college campus, take advantage of the Internet. Professional social media like LinkedIn can be an excellent way to network with others without being in the same physical space. Look for online communities through Twitter, possible Facebook groups, or other kinds of forums. You may even be able to find online courses (free or tuition-based) through which you can meet and learn from others during the summer. Of course, be attentive to online privacy policies and make sure to only offer as much personal information as you feel is safe.

In this day and age, it's easy to network during summer vacation. Start prepping now and think about different ways you can connect with others professionally. Summer will come soon and with a plan in mind, you'll be able to enjoy your summer and use your time productively.

While you're taking time off from your academic classes, don't forget to keep networking during summer vacation - it may help keep you focused towards your future career goals. Regardless of whether you have a job or internship, are traveling for fun or studying abroad, or simply relaxing, you can build professional and career-oriented relationships both near or far from your college campus. With the following strategies in mind, start thinking now of how to network during your summer break.

Connect with coworkers at your workplace or internship

If you're working this summer, connecting with others at your workplace is an easy way to network. This may happen pretty naturally if you're a team player and are actively participating in the life of your workplace, and if your coworkers are similarly open. However, don't rely on things just happening to you: take initiative in reaching out and starting conversations with others. Be present during office meetings and as much as possible (acknowledging your own limitations!) during professional social events, like lunch breaks or after-work happy hours. If you build positive relationships with coworkers during the summer, you may gain valuable resources and points of contact for the future, not to mention possible friendships.

Volunteer in your community

Whether or not you're working, it's a great idea to volunteer in your community. Summer service projects allow you to meet others of different life and career stages who share your interests and passions. You might find someone there that you admire professionally, or peers with whom you can share experiences. These opportunities are exceptionally valuable because they create ways for you to be part of your community in an interactive and immediate sense. Research and look up volunteer opportunities that are related to your major or future career goals; you also might find opportunities by asking current professors or stopping by your career center.

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