I spend a lot of time in front of a screen. As a remote worker and Kelley Direct student, I’ve had to become very comfortable with this! There were certainly some learning curves and lots of introspection to really figure out how I best operate and learn, and now that I’ve got a pretty good idea of myself, I’m embracing the opportunities this virtual world offers. One of my favorites and most valuable is the opportunity to network in so many different ways.
Being part of an online program has the dual benefit of allowing you to be in an environment you’re most comfortable in and the option to be as engaged with your peers as you want to be. I love people and outreach, but honestly, I’m a bit shy and working to overcome imposter syndrome (not sure if I should be admitting this on a public platform, hah!).
Thankfully, there are so many ways to network in an online program, and here are some that have worked for me at varying levels of engagement:
- Embrace group assignments! The Kelley Direct program does an awesome job of incorporating group work, and these are a great starting place. You can come together and focus on your assignment, with an open door to also learn more about your peers. Special shout out to my Core 1 group – Team Sunrisers (Akansha, Amin, Chaitanya, John, and Nathan) who have been on this journey with me since day one!
- Join student associations! There’s flexibility to attend events as you can or take on additional leadership responsibilities across the nine KD student associations. I participated in a peer-mentor program and currently sit on the board for our Analytics Association, where I’ve built connections with both my peers of totally different and super similar interests and career goals.
- Reach out proactively! This can be anything from a connection request on LinkedIn to setting up a 30-minute call to chat more. As someone who is more introverted, I’m more comfortable in these one-to-one interactions and appreciate how meaningful they can be. I love those networking calls and have learned so much from my fellow Hoosiers!
Without some of those in-person pressures and with fantastic peers inspiring high engagement, I’ve been able to make great connections and friends while building my confidence along the way. I’ll be heading to Chicago shortly for our Kelley on Location immersion, and I’m looking forward to applying this growth with my peers on-site too!