88 Networking Tips from Seniors

Don't take our word for it. 

Every year we ask graduating seniors for advice they would give to fellow students. One of the most common themes we hear about is the importance of networking. Below you will find 88 tips and advice (organized into 5 sections) from graduating seniors from the Class of 2022 and Class of 2023.

When should you start networking? Now!

  • Start networking early! The best way to get comfortable with it is to just throw yourself in there when it's low stakes (like when you're a freshman). Treat it as a conversation and an opportunity to discover what you would like to pursue post grad.
  • Network right from the very beginning. The earlier you can establish what you want do and build that network, the faster you can get ahead in the recruitment process
  • It's better to begin earlier rather than later, especially if you are a first-gen student without a wide network.
  • Start early. Work on networking with companies you may be interested in working for as soon as possible. Attend events and apply for internships for freshmen and sophomores. Don't wait until junior year to get started.
  • Please start the process early! Whether it’s joining clubs as soon as you can or networking at fairs, just do it even if you think you don’t need to for the experience.
  • Get started early, network, and don't be afraid to ask for help!
  • Start networking and attending employer events as early as you can. The earlier you start the more comfortable you are with it by the time it comes to looking for an internship junior year.
  • Utilize your networks within and beyond ND to secure a referral for an internship. This will lead to a guaranteed interview, which might lead to the coveted first internship. I found it easy to secure multiple high-paying offers with two name brand internships on my resume. So if you can get those referrals early on(during sophomore year) you can really position yourself ahead of the competition.
  • Applying to a ton of random jobs on Handshake is not effective nor efficient. Learning to make network calls early will pay dividends in the long run.
  • Start networking sooner rather than later. Attend career fair and career center events early. Look for summer opportunities even as a freshmen/sophomore.
  • It is never too early to start networking, and the sooner you get an internship in your field of interest the better.
  • Conferences are super fun and an easy way to network and build connections in person!
  • Start networking and preparing for interviews as early as possible.
  • It's never too early to start networking. The more people you know, the better your chances will be at securing interviews, internships, etc.
  • Don’t worry about networking until your sophomore year for business jobs, just learn as much as you can your first year to help decide what field you want to pursue.
  • Start early. Network directly with alums. Specialize as much as possible.
  • Everything is all about networking. You must reach out to ND alum or your resume will get lost and likely never even have a chance. Also, it is never too early to start. You think you have time, but application season creeps up on you and you want to be well prepared.
  • Network early and always keep your options open!
  • Network and seek out opportunities early on.
  • Network and begin to meet people as soon as possible, read every day about the topic which is prevalent in the job you desire.
  • Start building your network freshmen year.
  • Start the networking process earlier than you think you need to - there’s no downside to having conversations about people’s career and pursuits and learning more about yourself.
  • Don't be shy to connect with alumni at a company you're interested in. Every alumnus I reached out to was happy to talk to me about their job. While it doesn't guarantee you'll get an offer, it never hurts to start building your professional network early.
  • Start early and network with your peers.
  • Start early. Networking is all that matters.
  • Start networking early, even if you are not sure what you want to do.
  • Start early, network with literally as many ND alumni as possible.
  • Learn to network ASAP.
  • Start networking now.

Who should you network with?

  • Networking is so important and so easy. Notre Dame alums are more than happy to talk with you about their experiences--just get to know as many professionals in the field as possible!
  • Try to network with as many people as you can, and especially those who are recent graduates. They will give you better insight on the position you will be working and will help more with the recruiting process because they just went through it.
  • Talk to seniors who have gone through internships to figure out exactly what type of job you want. Then, once you’ve narrowed it down, reach out to alums to hear about their experiences. This goes a long way. Also, networking is essential if you want to land a job. Simply applying is almost never enough no matter how high your GPA is.
  • Network early with older students within your major to find out different opportunities.
  • Network with as many people as you can and use your professors as resources!
  • Leverage the ND Alumni network as much as possible. Alums are so willing to help you and are such a great resource throughout all stages of the career development process.
  • Network with as many upperclassmen and industry professionals as you possibly can. People who have experienced recruiting and internships before (the more recent the more relevant the advice) are your best resource to learn from and to ask all your questions of.
  • Apply to as many places as you can and don't be discouraged by rejection. Only one has to work out. Also utilize the ND network and try to get mentored.
  • Networking is the most important part of securing a job. Talk to as many people as possible, especially ND alums.
  • Be proactive and utilize all networking events you can and family friends.
  • Utilize the alumni network! It may sound cliche, but it is absolutely one of the best things about this university and creates so many opportunities (in finding a job/post-grad position and elsewhere).
  • Network as much as you can with ND alum. When you interview, KNOW YOUR STORY
  • Network with ND alums by getting to know them and asking questions about their jobs.
  • The best advice I have is to leverage the Notre Dame network, older alumni are always excited to talk to and help in any way they can.
  • Network with alumni who had/are in the role you eventually want to pursue.
  • Trust the process and be patient! Please try to secure an internship every summer and learn something from each experience. Every experience matters. Please network with alumni, they are great resources!
  • If there are a lot of fields or jobs that might interest you, try your best to look into all of them. People (especially alumni) are very willing to talk to you about them and help you discern what you might want to do. Networking can seem intimidating but workshops help, and it will be intimidating whenever you start, so you might as well start earlier rather than later.
  • Networking with family and alumni works really well.
  • Use the ND alumni network. During my sophomore year, I connected with tons of people in the baseball industry and it made it that I had better expectations.

Feeling nervous about networking? It's OK. You can do this!

  • Don't be afraid of the word networking. Just reach out and chat with ND alumni.
  • Lastly, don't be afraid to reach out to people in the ND network. Whether it's current students who have a job or internship you want to work, or an alum that's further along in their career path, a lot of these people will be super willing to help and talk about their experiences if you just reach out.
  • Don't be afraid to network! Use the ND network while you're still a student - people will be happy to help!
  • Do not feel pressured, make sure to stay open and take advantage of the ND network. Talk to people and find what job works best for you.
  • Although networking seems intimidating at the beginning, all Notre Dame professionals are happy and excited to share their experiences and advice with current students.
  • Don’t be afraid to network.
  • Networking is so scary at first but it is the most helpful part of the job search!! The first time is scary but it gets so much easier after that.
  • More people than you think want to help you.
  • Don't be afraid to directly reach out to older Notre Dame students and alumni through things like LinkedIn. For a while, I felt a bit intimidated to do so, but once I started to, the vast majority of them were more than happy to speak to me and help me along in my career development process. This has been very beneficial because their guidance has paved the way towards my career achievements thus far and tremendously broadened my network for the future.
  • Networking is super important and can really make a huge difference. Don't be afraid to reach out to ND alumni.

LinkedIn is convenient (and effective)

  • Network! Use IrishCompass and LinkedIn to find ND alum. These people are more than willing to help you out!
  • Networking (both with upperclassmen and alumni) + developing online platforms (LinkedIn/ handshake) early.
  • Use everything. Some people will tell you that the BEST way to find jobs is by doing X, or using Y website, or ignoring Z resource (Handshake, LinkedIn, individual networking, etc. can all fill in these XYZs). In reality, I know people who have benefitted from all these things and people who haven't gotten much use out of them. Don't ignore one avenue completely just because someone told you it wasn't helpful. Try it all out, and figure out what works best for you.
  • Network network network, use LinkedIn, connect with ND alumni, they want to help!
  • Network network network. Start networking now, get a LinkedIn page and ask to meet for informational interviews with professionals in your dream job.
  • Use LinkedIn to network. You learn a lot by simply having conversations with peoples

Think about a strategic approach to networking

  • Networking can only get you so far. You open doors by knowing people but it is your responsibility to prepare as much as possible for the interviews you worked so hard to get. 
  • Start thinking about what you'd like to do, but don't stress out too much about not having opportunities. If you apply, network, and use the resources available to you then it will all work out.
  • Make as many connections as possible when networking and really leverage these during the interview process.
  • Network with people in the field you are interested in to get a better sense of what you might want to do in the future.
  • Network and go to all career fairs and join professional development clubs.
  • Take advantage of the network in your internships.
  • Network as much as possible to learn as much as possible about various jobs and find what you like.
  • Schedule as many chats as possible with Notre Dame alum or just someone at a company you're interested in... treat these as mini interviews
  • Networking is very important to learn about jobs and to also learn about positions/companies
  • Network at places that truly interest and have conversations you genuinely enjoy.
  • Network as much as possible, and when you are interviewing with companies, reach out to ND alums that currently work there. This will connect you to the company and give you more to talk about with expressed interest in the company and role.
  • Networking is everything! Always be trying to connect with people and learn about their position at their company.
  • Reach out and network with as many people as you can. Even if it doesn’t lead anywhere, it is excellent practice and will help you in the future.
  • The most important relationships that will give you the most success in finding an opportunity are the close, personal ones that develop from individual networking and conversations. Try to find unique ways to interact with employers that will grant you these relationships.
  • Attend as many events as you can and network as much as possible!
  • There’s a lot of ways to end up where you want.
  • Attend the ND career fair even if you are a freshmen. This not only helps you to begin building your professional network, but it is also a good introduction to what professional conversations and interviews look like.
  • Networking is just as important as how you perform in the classroom.
  • Be open to the idea that you will need to network with many, many people! Coffee and persistence helps.
  • The Notre Dame network is just as good as everyone says it is! Don’t be discouraged if you find yourselves applying to internship after internship with nothing but silence and a few declines. Reach out to your major/minor departments, get in touch with alums in your field, and even if they can’t give you a job themselves, they can definitely point you in the right direction!
  • Network as much as possible and ideally have one connection for every job you apply for.
  • Take advantage of the network, even if it doesn't lead to a job. You will probably hear a lot of nos, but persevere and understand it only takes one yes.
  • Go to events early on like networking events even if to just listen and understand how they work.
  • Start early. Don’t have to dive in headfirst but do something as soon as possible like networking calls or meeting with a career development advisor to at least get your feet wet with some good advice.
  • Show interest in the industry and the firms you want to work at as early as possible, always send thank-you and follow-up emails (I cannot stress how much this last one has helped me over the years).

Where to go from here

Now that you've heard some tips from students, here are three steps 

  • Update your LinkedIn profile (including a professional headshot).
  • Start working on your Networking Tracker.
  • Set a realistic goal.  Keep in mind that any progress is progress. Reach out to one person this week. Just one. 

And remember... You can do this! If you need help, just let us know.