On Wednesday, Nov. 11, the Leadership Institute held their third and final Chapter After event of the semester. The topic was networking. It took place on Zoom from 7 to 8 p.m.
Students were given a presentation on the basics of remote networking, during which they learned the importance of networking, setting up a LinkedIn profile and marketing themselves on social media.
"Everyone wants to go to a different field in the future. They have different goals, interests and hobbies they do on campus. They have to play onto their strengths," said Delia Latini, a leadership specialist for the institute. "We're taking networking from a different approach into one that is more modern."
Amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it is more important than ever for peers and coworkers to remain connected with each other.
Networking is important because it helps students improve their skill sets, keep up with the world's trends, meet mentors and obtain resources that will help them in their careers.
Throughout the remainder of the event, students were briefed on ways to improve their presence both online and in person, such as becoming involved with student organizations, being open to unfamiliar opportunities, taking initiative and maintaining their connections.
"When students first get to college, their first thing is to make friends. It is hard to make them in this climate, but they have the upper hand since they are virtual," said Amir Gallashaw, a leadership specialist and peer mentor. "It's a matter of finding people and connecting with them."
The Leadership Institute also had a special guest join the presentation, Beyanka Wheatley.
Wheatley is a Kean alum with a masters in communication, who is also a communications specialist and content creator. She joined the conversation to share her experiences in taking the first steps with her networking.
"I wasn't the most outspoken person, but I always attended events outside of my leadership meetings, which really put a spotlight on me for others to see that I took every opportunity I could to participate and give back," said Wheatley.
Wheatley went more into detail about how digital networking helped her in both her professional and personal life. "When it comes to online, I didn't realize joining random Facebook groups with people who had common interests was networking," she continued. "Back in 2016, I shaved off all my hair and I started a natural hair journey. After joining many groups, it gave me the confidence I needed to begin creating my own content."
These are lessons every student can learn from. Throughout college, and even more as they join the workforce, learning from your own experiences and connecting with people who share your interests and goals are among the most important parts of growing a career.