Networking While in a Graduate Program

Posted: November 11, 2020 | Author: Grace Thorkelson | Read Time: 3 minutes

Networking while in a graduate program at SUUNetworking in a master’s program is important to success post-graduation for a variety of reasons. Networking not only leads to job opportunities, but it allows you to rub shoulders with the best of the best in your industry--giving you a front row seat to what has made them so successful throughout their personal and professional lives.

According to Southern Utah University’s Career and Professional Development Center, despite how easy it is to locate jobs using online job search tools and social media, 80% of all jobs are found through networking. Networking is the key to researching and finding a career that is perfect for you….people hire and refer people they like and know.

Try these three tips to better network while in a master’s program: 

Connect Virtually with Professors and Industry Leaders

Many graduate programs follow an asynchronous online format making it possible for working professionals to further their education while continuing to work. While students may not be seeing professors face-to-face on a daily basis, reaching out to them frequently can aid in connecting throughout the semester or academic year. Doing so shows your desire to learn from and soak up the knowledge and experience they have gained in their lives up until this point. Asking professors to connect you with professionals and even current students is also a great step. Receiving referrals can be beneficial, and lead you to meeting the people that will eventually help you find the right job.

Visit Campus

As previously mentioned, many graduate courses will not be offered in the traditional format, meaning that students may not have the need to come to campus. Despite this, students should make an effort to attend on-campus events, career fairs, and networking opportunities when possible. Boarding a plane for a cross-country flight may not make sense, but if you live a reasonable distance away from campus, take advantage of opportunities to network with faculty, staff, and peers. Overall, be proactive about getting to know your professors, program directors, and industry leaders, whether that be virtually or in-person.

Connect With Classmates

Networking with your peers can be vital to making the important connections you need during your master’s program.

“Connecting with your fellow classmates is like having a support system,” said Kaity Kuhn, SUU Graduate Admissions Officer and Master of Professional Communication student at SUU. “One way that I network is to actively reach out in group assignments or discussions and connect on LinkedIn. I find that if I reach out and make the first move, others are open to provide their insights, assist one another, and have a genuine interest in the other person and their work.”

By following these simple steps, students can make the important connections that are critical to their success. Through networking, you can gain fresh ideas, access to job opportunities, and build confidence in yourself.


Throughout the course of your master’s program, be sure to make an effort to connect with your peers, visit campus when possible, and stay in touch with your professors as often as you can. Doing so can put you a step ahead of the competition once you graduate, and lead you to the right career path and job.

Produced by SUU Graduate Studies

SUU's Graduate School draws from a prestigious heritage and allows students to pursue a quality education. The master's degree programs offer students the chance to further their professional and educational careers on campus or online.

Tags: Graduate Programs

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