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Three Tips for Building Your Network in an Online Degree Program

A business professional working on a laptop in an office

As college students hear often, networking is a key component of starting your career after finishing your classes. While online courses don't typically offer many in-person meeting opportunities, it is still possible to make important and long-lasting connections while in a virtual classroom. Here are three tips for building your network while enrolled in an online degree program.

Actively Engage With Your Class

As in traditional in-person classes, introducing yourself and taking initiatives to make connections are great ways to start the networking process in an online course. Take advantage of your class's discussion features and actively engage with your classmates and professors by asking questions, helping others, and contributing ideas. You might be surprised how quickly you start making friends and building lasting connections.

Maintain a Robust Online Presence

Another way to make connections from a distance is to engage with classmates elsewhere on the web. If you don't already have one, start a LinkedIn account and keep it up-to-date with all of your academic and professional experiences. Once you've added your classmates to your LinkedIn network, you can continue to engage and explore career avenues with them long after your online course has concluded.

Arrange In-Person or Virtual Meetings

Engaging with classmates and professors online is an effective way to maintain connections. Still, sometimes a face-to-face meeting, either in person or over an online call, can open up new discussions and collaborative possibilities. If you live near campus, or if you're in the same area as other students in the course, arrange an in-person study session or casual hangout every once in a while. Meeting someone outside of the classroom may lead to opportunities you'd miss by only interacting online; however, if an in-person meeting is not available, virtual connections are just as meaningful.

The flexibility and convenience of online learning make it simple to build connections and professional networks from a distance. Many of the courses in the Tulane School of Professional Advancement bachelor's and master's degree programs are available online. Start your online application today.

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