Making connections is extremely important to any student hoping to make it in the world of work. LinkedIn is a useful tool when forging connections, as it not only displays your online CV to help you get a job, but can also help you to expand your network.
The website includes a useful ‘Find Alumni’ feature under the ‘Network’ tab. LinkedIn allows you to find thousands of profiles of alumni not only from your alma mater, but others too. You can filter this by where they live, work, what they do, what they studied, what their skills are and whether you have any connections. You can search for anyone, and specify exactly what you are looking for.
You can find your classmates, and see what they are doing now and where they are, and you can indicate dates attended if you are looking for someone specific. You can also find someone who might be willing to give you help or advice (or even a job!) People may be more likely to help you when you have attended the same university as them. For example, if they have done an MBA in London too, they may have valuable guidance for you on life during or after university. Always be polite, as not everyone will have the time to help, but it is always worth trying if you have a connection with them.
The ‘Find Alumni’ feature also provides interesting statistics for you on what people are doing, where they are working and where they live. It can be helpful to see what leavers have gone on to do after university when considering your own options. Most universities also have discussion groups which can provide an easy way of talking to others from your institution (you can find these under the ‘Interests’ tab or by using the search tool). Likewise if you meet someone in an area of industry in which you are interested, ask if you can have their email address to contact them with any questions.
Making connections and expanding your network is an important part of forging a career, because often it really is who you know, not what you know. (But do not worry that your studying has gone to waste, because what you know will be important once you have got the job!)