Top 5 Reasons to Network as a Young Professional

Cartoon graphic of young professionals interacting with each other, also showing colorful speech bubbles and a light blue background

Post created by Applied IMC (Spring 2022)

As a young professional, you may be questioning how to navigate the working world and where your future career will take you. The answer to some of these burning questions lies within your professional network. By strengthening connections with those in your field, you have access to an array of:

  • career guidance
  • internship leads
  • industry insight

Which can all play an integral role in your success.

When you are well equipped with useful networking skills and know the variety of benefits that expanding your network can have on future career opportunities, you will be ready to advocate for yourself, your skills, and your career!

headshot of smiling man facing the camera in black long-sleeved shirt backlit with blurred background.



“The people you meet as a student can massively impact your personal and career trajectory. You don't have to be the smartest or most outgoing but give yourself enough opportunities to meet people outside of the academic world and invest in the relationships that stand out to you.” - Paul Burke, class of 2014



Top 5 Reasons to Network

1. Shared knowledge

- The ability to share knowledge and expertise allows you to build your own toolbox of information that you can use within your own career.

2. Boosts professional confidence

- Networking aids in boosting professional confidence, which can empower you to feel comfortable in professional settings, assist you in asking for help, and allow them to take full advantage of their resources.

3. Presents you with career opportunities

- Networking allows you to figure out which companies are hiring, looking to hire, and any other opportunities to grow your career with the help of people within your professional network. If you have built a strong network, someone aware of your strengths may even recommend you for a job!

4. Grows a network of resources

- Reaching out to your professors, field experts, thought leaders, and more allows you to expand your network of career resources and knowledge

5. Develop long-lasting relationships

- Networking allows you to build and foster long-lasting professional relationships that you’ll have for a lifetime. This is beneficial because by building these relationships, you always have someone to turn to regarding your professional development.


headshot of smiling man facing the camera with blurred background.



“When I was a student, connecting with experienced professionals helped me understand my career trajectory. I was given opportunities to explore prospective jobs as well as learn what top professionals in varying industries look for in new marketers entering the field.” - Brian Williams, class of 2010



Building Your Network – Where to Start

In the pacific northwest, there are an array of organizations that are tailored towards assisting marketers with both personal and professional development. The first of which being the Puget Sound American Marketing Association. Puget Sound AMA is a great resource for young professionals who are looking to engage in a mentorship program, as well as attend monthly networking events.

Another amazing local resource is the Whatcom Young Professionals organization. Based in Bellingham Washington, this organization’s purpose is to connect and develop young career-focused individuals. Whatcom Young Professionals provides members with networking opportunities and valuable community involvement activities that inspire personal growth. If you are in the area, this is a great organization to get involved with that will assist you in building your network.

The WWU Marketing program also knows just how important it is to grow relationships with industry professionals, and that’s why we have invited some of our very own professionals back to participate in our Meet the Professionals event! Our Meet the Professionals event is an exclusive event for participants in the SMA case competition, which allows competitors to network with working professionals. This event provides students with the amazing opportunity to speak with working professionals that have previously been in their shoes as a Western Marketing student. This event shows students that they too have the ability to excel in their career and can come back to inspire future marketing students as well, just as these Alumni are inspiring current students.


headshot of man with pilot headphones in a plane with blurred background



“One important thing I learned in college is that your professional career should start in college, don't wait until you graduate. Start networking with professionals in the industry you want to get into and you'll be much further ahead of your peers when you graduate. So many students decide to live in the bubble that is college when they're missing out on an incredible opportunity to get involved in their desired industry sooner. That's 4+ years of more knowledge, more     connections, and everything else you need to easily transition into a career when you graduate.”  - Andy Karuza, class of 2009


Now that you understand the benefits of networking as a student along with some helpful advice from our former WWU marketing program alumni, it’s time to get yourself out there! Participating in local professional development organizations and the program's Meet the Professionals event are just some of the ways you can begin building your professional network and ensure a smooth transition into a professional working environment!