Did you know there are opportunities within your major and minor departments to not only network, but boost your resume and potentially work as a research assistant? According to Colleen Sabitano at internships.com, here are the 5 top tips for establishing a network that will strengthen both your academic and career goals (edited to fit Middlebury needs):
- Join departmental organizations, clubs, or groups associated with your department, especially if your major professor is the faculty sponsor. For example, if you’re an English major and your department publishes a literary journal, sign up for the staff. Some departments sponsor field trips or even study abroad programs, which could be great networking opportunities for you.
- Show your support to the faculty by offering to do research for a faculty member. Many professors need research assistants. If you check out the Research Assistant page on the Undergraduate Research website, it states: “Research assistants (RAs) work with faculty mentors year-round, in disciplines throughout the Middlebury campus. Paid, credit-bearing or volunteer positions, provide an enhanced, hands-on component to their undergraduate academics. Each summer over 130 students spend the summer at Middlebury doing research in a faculty-mentored position. Many additional students find paid or unpaid research positions at other institutions such as colleges, or governmental or private agencies. URO maintains a select list of external summer research opportunities. Students interested in being an on-campus summer research assistant need to contact a potential faculty mentor before March.“
- Build good relationships with department coordinators and teaching assistants. Consider being a teaching assistant yourself. And always take time to check in with the coordinators. They are your first point of contact when you want to make an appointment, learn about new internships, find out first when grant or scholarship applications are due, or simply hear about department goings-on.
- Establish yourself as a scholar and outstanding asset to the department by doing your best academically and being inducted into honorary societies. Attend any study groups and participate in them. Ask questions and introduce new information that you’ve gleaned from outside sources and go to academic conferences.
- Volunteer in your department to help with special events, tutor other students, or work on committees. Many departments host guest speakers or conferences and need student support, giving you more opportunities to network outside of your college. When major or minor professors deliver lectures outside of the department, plan to attend. If a professor helps you with an assignment or helps you find an internship or job, send a thank-you note.
If you are thinking of sticking around Middlebury this summer and are interested in on campus research, make sure you are already reaching out to your network to see what opportunities might be available.
Again, make sure to contact potential faculty mentors before March.
See additional information on how to: