Many people use social media these days for entertainment, connection with friends, or trying to find fame and fortune. I have recently discovered that many scientists and medical professionals use it as a legitimate networking tool. Networking is sort of like socializing for work–it is the act of meeting and staying in contact with people in your field. Sometimes this can help you get a job or obtain resources that you need.
This assignment is intended to:
1) Introduce you to the idea of networking and start doing it on your platform of choice, and
2) Have you find people who are pursuing similar career paths to your goal so that you can find out more about it from them.
- Choose a social media platform. (If you are not sure where to start I suggest Twitter because that Is where I see a lot of networking happening. If social media is really not your thing, you can also use iNaturalist for this assignment.)
- In social media you can either follow people or topics so either
- Think about your career goals and search hashtags or topics that you can think of that might relate to it. Some examples are #ornithology, #gradschool or #medicaltwitter. There are a lot of groups like #BlackinSTEM and #LatininSTEM that might help you find people like yourself in these career paths as well. See what people have to say, or
- Look at the web pages of professors at the University that you want to transfer to and see if they have any links to social media. See what they have to say on there.
- Read some threads, see what people have to say, ask a quesiton or two, maybe even DM someone! A lot of young people who are Ph.D. students or postdoctoral scholars (postdocs) are very active in their accounts. Spend at least an hour–try not to get off topic!
- Write a post in the Discussion about what you found. Describe what you searched and give the account names or hashtags that you found the most interesting and helpful. Did you decide to Follow anyone? Get any responses to questions? Let us know how it went.
- Come back later and comment on someone else’s post. Ask a question about what they found or share with them something you found that you think they would like, too. Voila, you are networking!