The best way to start your professional friendship network is to get involved. But remember this not is high school, so don’t focus your time on the clubs and organizations that are the largest or the coolest. Instead, choose the ones you are most interested in or will enjoy the most.
Don’t be afraid of strangers
As long as they are not in an unmarked van, strangers provide an excellent opportunity for you to network your way to meet new and exciting people that could potentially become professional friends.
Bring your passion
While you may be at a professional event, don’t simply talk about the industry. Bring your passions into the conversation – those are the things that will make you a stand out employee and make you more likable.
Don’t network to get a job, network to make friends
Even though you probably need a job, go to networking events looking for friends and not an internship. There is nothing more awkward for a professional than being in a conversation with a student who is clearly evaluating how useful their connection will be in getting them an internship, especially if the student deems them unworthy and walks away mid-sentence. It’s rude, and the people who can help you will see right through your motives.
Stay in touch
When you do make a professional friend, stay in touch. Link with them on LinkedIn, get their email. Don’t force it, but when appropriate, contact them; maybe you need their advice on something or maybe you want to congratulate them on a great campaign their agency did.