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Networking 101: 6 Tips on How to Build Your Network

by South University
August 21, 2018
A photo of two professional talking together.

When it comes to career advancement, who you know is important. Many jobs are never listed before the right candidate is found, interviewed, and hired. So how do you meet the right people who can help you get in the right place at the right time to grow your career? The answer is by continually meeting new people and building your network.

Networking could be the key to landing you the interview at the company you’ve been trying to get into for years, or give you a chance to secure a job that few other people know exists. Networking can also help you connect with a mentor or a like-minded colleague who can offer an understanding ear, helpful resources, and even valuable advice as you navigate the day-to-day challenges and stresses of the professional environment.

If you’re new to networking, here are six tips to get you started.

1. Get to know your classmates and colleagues

Start talking with more people in your South University classes. If they’re in your program, they’ll share some of your interests, and you can start by asking about their career aspirations and past professional experiences. For now, you might wind up with a study buddy. In the future, this new connection could prove helpful for one or both of your careers.

Outside of school, find ways to connect with your current colleagues. Are their people you pass every day in the hall or say hello to, but who you don't know well? Ask them for coffee and a chat, or join them for lunch whenever you get a chance.

2. Think outside the workplace

Find new connections close to home by getting to know your neighbors. Drop by with a simple gift and introduce yourself, or invite them to your place the next time you see them outside. While your instinct might be to grow your network by connecting only with people in your field, it’s impossible to predict which connection could lead to your next career move. Plus, it’s nice to know your neighbors!

Similarly, let your friends and family know what you’re studying in school and your desired career path. When the people around you know about your goals, they’re better able to introduce you to people who might be able to help.

3. Refine your LinkedIn profile

A current and complete LinkedIn profile is essential for people finding you online and helping new connections understand who you are. For a profile photo, choose a simple headshot of you alone in front of a plain background. Add a headline about what you do now and what you hope to do in the future. Then, use the summary section to share more about your professional strengths and goals. Fill in the Experience section (including accomplishments at each job), along Education, Volunteer Experience, Accomplishments, and Skills.

4. Be an active LinkedIn member

Once your profile is complete, connect with your instructors, classmates (new and old), work colleagues, family, and friends. Share professional articles you think might interest or benefit others, adding commentary on why you do or don’t like the article. Comment on other people’s posts where it makes sense. Join industry-specific groups to ask for advice and get to know others with similar interests. By taking these steps to stay active on LinkedIn, you can stay top-of-mind for your connections—and meet some new people along the way.

5. Volunteer in your community

Volunteering is a great way to give back and support your community. At the same time, volunteering can get to know other people in your area and maybe gain relevant industry or leadership experience. With a little searching, you might even find volunteer organizations related to your professional strengths or goals.

6. Join industry organizations and professional events

MeetUps, student groups, networking events, professional seminars and conferences—these are all great ways to build your network. When you attend, be confident in approaching and getting to know other people and be ready to summarize your goals, strengths, and interests in one to two minutes. (If needed, you can always practice this with classmates, friends, family, or even in front of the mirror.) Bring business cards to the event with your name, email, and phone number. These cards can either feature your job title or show that you’re a student (for example, Jane Doe, MBA Student).

After the event, connect on LinkedIn with anyone you met and send a note saying you enjoyed talking. Consider planning a future meeting for coffee to continue your discussions.

Want to know more about how South University can help you with preparing for your next career move?

Contact us to learn about how our degree programs are designed to help you go from classroom to career, and how our Career Services team and other dedicated staff can support you along the way.

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by South University
August 21, 2018
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Information Systems & Technology Students Gain Experience with Advanced Industry Software

by South University
August 16, 2018
a photo of an two information technology professions working at a computer.

At South University, input from industry professionals and subject matter experts plays a critical role in our course and program development. Their insights help us to ensure that our students graduate with experience and understanding of career- and industry-specific tools and technology. This is especially crucial for our Information Systems and Technology students, as they prepare to enter a field full of constantly evolving tech.

Over the last several years at South University, Tampa, our Master of Science in Information Systems (MSIS) students have received valuable hands-on experience with software applications and tools used in the professional field of business intelligence and analytics. These opportunities for our student to gain applied knowledge have included:

  • In the Decision Support Systems class, students build their own data warehouse on IBM’s DB2 Warehouse Edition software and populate it with real data provided by IBM. They also learn how to design business intelligence models utilizing the Cognos Analytics platform and build the type of dashboards that allow business analysts to identify and better understand business trends. Such platforms and models can serve as key tools for informing organizational decision-making among upper management and executives.
  • Information Systems students are provided with the opportunity to learn about cognitive computing by using IBM Watson Analytics—an intelligent data analysis and visualization service that makes it easier to discover patterns and meaning in data. By using IBM Watson Analytics' guided data discovery, automated predictive analytics, and cognitive capabilities such as natural language dialogue, our students are learning how to use artificial intelligence tools to augment their own skills and better meet the demands of today's fast-paced, data-intensive corporate environment.

South University is pleased to be working with the IBM Academic Initiative to provide Information Systems and Technology students with such important hands-on experiences and expose them to these new technologies in cognitive computing, artificial intelligence, data science and analytics, and the cloud. We look forward to seeing how our graduates will put these new skills to work for their employers and uncover meaningful insights and information that will undoubtedly help the evolution of their organizations.

Want to know more? Learn why businesses need information systems and technology professionals and how our MSIS program was built around that demand. If you’re interested in gaining skills and knowledge related to Information Systems, our MSIS program is available online and at multiple campus locations. Start planning for tomorrow today!

by South University
August 16, 2018
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What to Expect as an Online Student at South University

by South University
August 7, 2018
a photo of an online student working at a computer.

As an online student at South University, you’ll receive both the online tools and the individualized support you need to help you realize your academic, personal, and professional goals. Learn more below about what you can expect as a member of our online student community.

1. The Campus Common will serve as your go-to resource.

When you take our online classes, much of what you’ll need will be found inside the Campus Common. The Campus Common is an easy-to-use online portal, packed full of resources that can support your academic and professional success and help you get connected to your fellow students. From here, you can

  • Log into your classes
  • Find your key contacts, including technical support
  • Catch up on school news and updates
  • Access academic and student support services
  • Join Connections to participate in online student groups
  • And so much more!

2. You’ll have a network of people to help you succeed.

From your first day at South University, we’re here to support you. Your Admissions Representative, Student Finance Counselor, and Academic Counselor will share valuable knowledge and guidance to help you with things like completing your online orientation, getting ready for your first class, selecting financial options that work for you, determining your course schedule, and creating a plan for time management.

In addition to asking your instructors questions in class, you’ll be able to engage our online tutors anytime for writing feedback or help understanding any challenging course material. You can also schedule in-person or phone consultations with certified counselors to work through any personal issues you may be experiencing.

3. You’ll interact frequently with your faculty and peers.

Our interactive online classroom and mobile app let you learn when and where you want and feature anytime access to your course content as well as lively discussion boards. In your classes, your instructors will provide personalized responses to your assignments and be available to answer questions via instant messaging, email, and phone.

You’ll also have access to Connections, an exclusive online social network for our students and faculty. Here, you can join student chapters of professional organizations as well as groups organized by other students or the Student Affairs team.

4. Our comprehensive academic resources will help you learn.

Even when you’re not logged into our online classroom, you’ll have a variety resources to help you grow. Within our Online Library, you’ll find 60+ databases and 50,000+ ebooks, video clips, images, and full-text dissertations. We also offer on-demand tutoring, subject-specific research guides, Virtual Library Workshops, and a number of online events to expand on your classroom learning.

5. We can help get you ready for the workplace.

We’re committed to preparing for what’s next after earning your degree. Within the Campus Common, you’ll discover a variety of career resources available at no extra charge, including career advice and tools for interview prep, finding job openings, and more. As you approach graduation, our career services professionals can also provide personalized guidance throughout your job search and application process—from cover letter and resume writing workshops through to helping you expand your professional network.

Ready to get started? Talk to an Admissions Representative at 1.888.444.3404 or request information today and we’ll be in touch soon.

by South University
August 7, 2018
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