5 Tips For Building Your Professional Network in New Zealand (an AIS student blog)
Written by: Shan Zhong
Building a professional network is crucial for business, and business students as well. It is an opinion that is echoed by AIS lecturers. However, international students come alone to a new country and have to start from zero. Here are a few tips for building your professional network while studying in New Zealand.
Meet People Face-to-Face
Meeting people face-to-face is the best way to communicate in real life. Due to the language constraint, I often find it difficult to use a second language when talking on the phone. However, talking directly to people can reduce the chance of misunderstanding because we can read the meaning by facial expression and body language. Auckland has so many lovely and affordable cafés and eateries, you can arrange to meet people face-to-face and talk to people in a new city directly.
Join a Meetup Group
Download a meetup app on your phone and start exploring. The meetup page can provide countless opportunities to connect to people who have common interests with you. I went to some language meetups at the beginning, and found that it really built my confidence in a short time since most group members are non-native speakers like me. As I started to feel more comfortable with strangers I began to look for specific groups that I am interested in or are related to my majors such as Ted talk, digital marketing discussion, and so on. Joining those meetups, you’ll not only get the chances to make new friends but also get in touch with people who work in your field of study, which could help you in your career.
Here’s some examples of meetup groups to join:
Create a LinkedIn Profile
LinkedIn is the best networking tool for professional people today. It is also a place where you can do personal brand marketing. First, build a nice and meaningful profile and keep it updated. Then try to reach out to important people who can improve your visibility.
Attend Study Auckland Events
Check out Study Auckland on Facebook. There are many interesting events for International students at discounted prices or even for free. I once attended a Maori cultural experience, which was free. And I learned a lot, from the history to future development, from native flora to foods and language and art etc. Moreover, I made friends with students from other universities, and we shared our thoughts and fun things to do in Auckland.
New Zealanders are highly engaged in volunteer jobs. Organisations like Red Cross and St John provide a wide range of job opportunities from non-skill to trained ones. People who take on volunteer jobs are mostly warm-hearted and friendly. Working with the greatest people is really inspiring. And those people who come from different backgrounds will definitely expand your professional network.
About Shan Zhong: Shan is currently enrolled in MBA programme at Auckland Institute of Studies (AIS). Shan has extensive work experience as a music producer in China. Shan feels inspired by the New Zealand lifestyle and wants to reach out and get involved with many opportunities while she lives here.