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The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind

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Katarina Rothhorn
Katarina Rothhorn
Features Writer

The first message I ever sent from my Northern Michigan University sanctioned email was to the editor-in-chief of the North Wind asking if there was any way I could join the staff. Classes hadn't even...

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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Dallas WiertellaApril 30, 2024

Importance, benefits of networking

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As you may know, NMU has implimented a Faculty Buzz event now during the winter semester, providing another opportunity for networking.

Whether it’s in search of a mentor,a professional friend, or talking to different companies at a career fair, taking part in networking is vital to every career in some shape or form, regardless of what year or major you are. Learning where you come in will only benefit you.

The word “networking” oftentimes has a negative connotation from the surface. This could perhaps be because mentoring takes time and thought, and many people have been taken advantage of. Sometimes higher-ups in companies and organizations  feel the need to treat underdogs and the inexperienced as below them. So when college students branch out to connect, no wonder it’s intimidating. But there are ways around this: sticking within your means, having good intent and communicating effectively.

The good news is, these are skills that you can use anywhere in life, not just to “get through” your time here at NMU. Communication is key, and finding which form best suits you will help you succeed in the long run. So don’t view this as temporary. 

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Specifically for seniors taking their seminars, what you may notice you learn when leading up toward graduation is “how” to get that job. Sure, experience is important, and depending on the industry, necessary. But soft skills and personality are becoming more valued in today’s society, and though you may be highly intelligent, if you can’t communicate effectively, how will anyone know who you are and what you’ve been through?

If soft skills are a weakness for you, consider attending a job fair with the intent of simply having a discussion with a variety of people. The more comfortable you become talking to any individual on the fly will do wonders for you in the future. 

The same idea is true online. You don’t have to be Donald Trump and tweet every thought, but there are many social networks (like Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn) that you can join right away and  see who’s out there. Do some research into what online platforms the peers in your major use. Instagram is a little more artsy and creative because it’s graphic, whereas LinkedIn is more for publishing articles and writing advice and updates. So find your cup of tea and drink it.

The point is, don’t be afraid to get your foot in the door. It won’t be easy, and it takes time. But don’t shoot down networking and connecting and say it’s not for you, because the truth is, networking is how people know who knows who, and it’s a great way to take the next step toward your future and career goals. 

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