Evaluate your Eco-Map
Not many ties at all—I could use more weak ties and more strong ties.
That’s OK, that’s exactly what this program is for. Many students begin college needing to gain more relationships with adults and peers. This program was created to assist students create all different types of relationships, so let’s keep going!
A lot of close, strong ties but not many weak ties. I could use more networking relationships with career services staff, acquaintances, teachers, and other adults like that.
It’s great you have so many strong ties in your life! It’s important that you have a lot of support, but it’s just as crucial to create relationships with other adults that can help you with career advice, research experience or academic needs. As we go through the lessons, think about ways to reach out to people who could serve as weak ties and help you with things like academic support or choosing a career.
A lot of weak ties, but not many strong ties. I could use some more close relationships with adults to get support and encouragement as I navigate school and careers.
It’s great that you have access to weak ties—that will serve you well as you navigate college. Creating stronger relationships with adults who can support you is one of the main parts of all of our lessons. As we go through the lesson plans, really focus on which adults you could potentially feel comfortable going to for encouragement or personal advice.
Lots of conflictual relationships—I could use some help with conflict resolution.
College is a stressful time, and it can be even harder when you’re dealing with stressful relationships. As you go through the lesson plans, try to focus on building stronger relationships with adults you feel comfortable going to for personal advice—they may be able to help you with ongoing conflict in other relationships. If you’re interested, check out the “Conflict Resolution Strategies” sheet in your Toolbox for some skills and resources for resolving conflict.
Pulling it all Together
Now let’s take a look at some examples to pull it all together. Think back to Jose’s situation. For one column of his Networking Map, he decided to write an email to his political science professor, Prof. Jackson. Jose has really enjoyed Prof. Jackson’s class this semester, and knows that she has a law degree. Jose thinks that Prof. Jackson could be a helpful source of information for undergraduate opportunities for research and internships in law, as well as potentially connecting him to her colleagues who are still practicing lawyers. Here is an email Jose wrote to Prof. Jackson to ask about setting up a meeting with her.
Asking in person, or over the phone or an Internet conferencing tool, can also be effective. View the two videos below for short examples of effective ways of asking someone to meet with you, for your interview for the Connected Futures program, or for another reason related to your interests and goals.
How’d they do?
Notice how Nicola and Katie both used many of the tips for reaching out to someone within a networking context. They started off the calls with a brief summary of the relevant information for the call. For Katie, it was especially important to introduce herself and give a clear explanation for why she was calling. No matter how well you know the person on the call, it’s important to be polite and flexible when scheduling the meeting, and to take responsibility for setting up the details (e.g., getting an address for the meeting location, sending out video conference links). And remember to finish up the call with a reminder about how much you appreciate the other person’s time—this can go a long way, even if it seems obvious.
Tips for writing emails requesting a meeting with someone, as well as email templates are always accessible in your toolbox if you want to view them again later! [SB: add PDF for Tips for setting up Networking Meetings to toolbox]