Networking has the ability to unite individuals, cultures, and nations through just an initial effective greeting. When learning a new language, often greetings are the first thing we start with and for good reason too. Being able to effectively greet someone, understanding elements of their cultural to interact and network, can have hugely beneficial outcomes.
Sophia Shaikh is a student from India studying journalism. Part of the Community College Initiative Program (CCIP), Sophia was selected to travel to the United States and study journalism at Scottsdale Community College (SCC). As a student worker in SCC’s Center for Civic & Global Engagement department, I had the opportunity to meet and befriend Sophia during her 2015/2016 experience as a CCIP student.
Checking back in with Sophia nearly a year and a half after returning home to India, I asked her of what her greatest experience was during her 10 months of study in the US and she answered back with the internship she was able to secure because of her networking abilities.
“The CCI Program taught me a lot, including networking skills and how to put the skills to practice,” Sophia reflected. “The program required us to secure internships and networking skills were fundamental to establishing those relationships with publications to ensure internships were attained and experienced accounted for during our time in Scottsdale. What’s more is many of those skills stuck with me as I went back home and was to find a new journalism job in India. Utilizing the networking skills learned at the community college gave me the confidence to network and earn a job here.”
Having interacted with Sophia on many occasions during her time here, I would agree that she was able to effectively use networking as a way to do more than secure a job, but to make connections with individuals of different cultures and life experiences than her. Networking allows for everyone to be on the same playing field with genuine interest to share and want to know aspects of a stranger and when done effectively, like in the case of Sophia, can be instrumental in making friends and earning a job.