Networking is one of the most important things we do, both professionally and personally. Feedback from many of Rian’s former J-1 exchange visitors tells us that putting effort into networking leads to better placements, better pay & a better overall visa experience!
We encourage everyone on our visa program to engage in networking in order to help find suitable paid work in your area of study. Please see a sample networking spreadsheet if you would like to have as a resource! These should mostly be business/professional contacts.
What is networking?
“Hard networking” = taking part in organized networking events which are set for the sole purpose of discussing a particular issue, subject, project or agenda. This type of networking is very common in the business world!
- Attending events hosted by local business organizations or professionals
- Joining professional groups such as Irish Network Boston. Look into the Irish Network in the city near you
- Joining groups that are tailored towards your field of study. For example, one of our more recent J-1s found her placement after joining a ‘Young Women in Science’ networking group. This directly led to her success in finding a great paid placement!
“Soft networking” = taking part in various events or groups which are less formal & not set for the specific purpose of networking. Meeting people with similar interests can open doors.
- Joining a local soccer or music club.
- Attending after work meetups with colleagues or friends!
Networking Tips & Resources
- Use our networking spreadsheet to help keep track of the connections that you make!
- If you are in Boston, attend Rian Immigrant Center events.
- Does your university have an alumni group? If so, join!
- Ensure your Linkedin profile is complete, including a professional photo.
- Likewise, ensure your resume is fully updated and in the U.S style.
- Always follow up with networking contacts via Linkedin or email after meeting them.
- Join Irish Network USA!
- Get involved or sign up for networking event alerts through Digital Irish.
- If you are a recent graduate, join the Irish Graduate Network!