Networking for Success: Tips for UNE Online Students

Research has shown that establishing personal links through networking can give you a professional boost. Networking activities are a key tool for strengthening your position in your field and have proven to have tangibly positive career implications for participants.

In this post, you will find tips for networking for success, how to build your networking skills, and how to put your networking plan into action.

Expand your network – who do you know?

Networking isn’t just about making superficial connections with as many people as possible; it’s about actively listening and engaging. Successful networkers prioritize building meaningful relationships by investing time and effort into understanding others’ needs and interests. By doing so, they uncover genuine opportunities to forge lasting connections and collaborations.

You’re probably wondering how to network as an online student. We have some great ideas for you!

Join a student organization

One such student organization is the American Public Health Association – Student Assembly (APHA-SA) at UNE. The APHA-SA is an interdisciplinary organization welcoming student members from all health programs at the university who have an interest in public health. 

The chapter within UNE is part of the broader APHA-SA, a student-led organization within the American Public Health Association. Contact any of the APHA-SA officers or your student support specialist for details on joining.

Not in the Public Health program? Contact your advisor or student support specialist to inquire about professional organizations in your field. 

Attend office hours

One of the most powerful resources in an instructor-led learning environment is office hours.

We encourage you to reach out right from the beginning of your course and make an effort to communicate with your instructor at least once a week. Office hours are regularly scheduled times each week when students can meet with their instructor and one of the most valuable learning tools we offer.

Online office hours can take on a variety of different formats. Some students show up and simply listen to what questions their classmates may have. Some weeks four or five students might attend an office hours session, exchanging ideas and talking through problems. Other weeks you might have the opportunity for one-on-one instruction from your instructor.

Even more information on the benefits of participating in office hours can be found in the Vision Blog post, Online Office Hours – How To Use Them To Your Advantage.

Work on building your community as an online student

To get the full value out of your online graduate school experience, you’ll need to make an effort to engage with your classmates. Real engagement and networking in an online class involves becoming a part of the community of learners. In fact, research supports the development of a community in online education as an important factor for maximizing student satisfaction with their experience. 

Studies have shown that there are five key peer-to-peer interactions in online learning that are most predictive of a sense of community. They are introductions, collaborative group projects, contributing personal experiences, entire class online discussions, and exchanging resources.

In your courses, there is a discussion board platform where students can discuss course topics and help each other with understanding material and assignments. We strongly encourage you to utilize this resource to connect with your classmates to get the most out of your experience!

To read more about how UNE Online faculty and instructional designers implement each of these interactions within our UNE Online courses, what our programs’ faculty members are doing to facilitate these experiences, additional steps students can take to build their online community, and for more information and tips on building your community as an online student, see the Vision Blog post Finding Community in Online Education.

Get help networking for success

In many cases, your classmates are your first network in your chosen field. Because your current classmates are likely to become your future colleagues once you’ve graduated from your online program, making connections within your courses is an effective way to kickstart your network.

If you find that you need help getting started, or with finding additional networking opportunities, reach out to your Student Support Specialist. They can help refocus your search for deeper connections. Networking has proven time and again to be a valuable tool and we want all of our students to succeed! 

Use Alumni Resources

UNE Online just recently launched our Career Ready Program. This FREE program provides tools and resources to help you explore and hone in on your career goals, search for jobs, create and improve your professional documents, build your professional network, learn interview skills, grow as a professional, and more. 

UNE also has Career Advising For Alumni available for online students. This is a great resource for advice on career changes and assistance with resume and cover letter writing, interviewing practice, and job search strategies. 

Our Library Services For Alumni also offers access to our physical collections and research services. You can Apply for an Alumni ID card to borrow physical items from the libraries, stay connected, or access our online resources.

You can view all of our alumni resources on the Alumni Home Page or by visiting this Alternate Alumni Home Page. Stay in touch and take advantage of the many resources available to you!

Join the University of New England Alumni group on LinkedIn

Networking doesn’t end when you graduate! Join the University of New England Almuni group on LinkedIn to stay in touch with your classmates and meet new people! LinkedIn is a great way to connect with peers and other professionals, and this could lead to new and exciting opportunities in your career. 

Social media is, of course, a great way to make connections. Post a picture on Instagram of your at-home study space or where you take your studies on the road. Make sure to use #myuneonlinclassroom so we can share your post and connect you with others in the UNE Online community!

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