Prepare for College Series: Networking

Through our challenging and innovative programming, students develop skills that prepare them for college success, both inside and outside of the classroom. These skills serve as the foundation for all of our daily activities. This series will explore the 10 skills which are the focus of our programs.

What is networking?

Networking is a skill that focuses on building mutually beneficial, professional connections with people in your desired career or area of interest. 

Why networking is an important skill to develop in a pre-college program? 

Many professionals credit at least some part of their career to networking. Be it a new job, college internship, or research opportunity, networking is what gets a lot of people’s foot in the door. It can seem vague and daunting, which is why many people, especially high school students, can be intimidated by it. So how do you learn to network?  

You have to practice. Be it drafting an elevator pitch or learning how to express mutual interest to someone in your field of study, the earlier students can start practicing this skill and building their network, the better. College is primetime for developing professional connections and if students have already begun to practice their networking skills, they will definitely be ahead of the game. 

Additionally, networking can give you invaluable insight into a particular field of study, profession, or specific job. This can, in turn, help students figure out the next step in their academic or professional career. 

How do we help students develop this skill? 

All of our programs and courses are taught by WashU affiliated instructors which include faculty, graduate students, post docs, and adjuncts. This means that our pre-college students have access to knowledgeable professionals, many of whom are at the top of their field. Interaction with these experienced professionals on a regular basis helps networking become much less intimidating.  

Additionally, our pre-college students have plenty of opportunities to meet and network with undergraduate students and peers from around the world. We offer resources on presentation skills, resume writing, and how to create your LinkedIn profile. We also partner with the Career Center on special sessions to develop interview skills.


Ryadah was Pre-College Coordinator from 2018-2020 and now serves as Assistant Director for Undergraduate Admissions at WashU.