Networking is the process of getting to know someone, without expectation, and continuing relationships with those you find the most interesting. Networking can happen with anyone - you never know where a conversation might lead or who someone may introduce you to in the future. No matter how you meet someone, it’s an opportunity to see where that new relationship will go. You get to know people over time through multiple conversations, so the most important thing is following up and keeping in touch with people you want to get to know better and stay connected to. Networking is like planting seeds that you’ll nurture and grow and will likely provide sustenance in the future.

A good place to start is meeting people connected to Otis such as alumni, connections referred to by your faculty, and industry professionals who work in jobs or companies you may be interested in. Utilize platforms such as Otis Alumni Association, LinkedIn (see more on using LinkedIn below), ArtStation, Behance, or Instagram to name a few, and join professional trade organizations where you can meet and learn from like-minded professionals (many orgs have student or recent graduate rates). Fine artists may be networking with other artists, gallerists, curators, or collectors. Freelancers build their client base by networking and learning who their audience is for their skill set. Entrepreneurs starting a company benefit from networking with other small business owners and building a strong team to support their endeavors.

After researching and identifying new people, the next step is to schedule a brief meetup or informational interview where you’ll ask them questions about their career path to gather advice and information. This is not interviewing for a job. See below for our Informational Interview Guide.

To build on your professional relationships, plan ways to keep in touch with people you find most interesting every month or so. Be curious, inquisitive, and show your involvement with things - have you worked on any new projects, attended a professional development event, do you want advice on something, ask how they’ve been staying current in their field, professional endeavors, or events they’ve been a part of. When you’re a proactive individual, you’ll stand out with people over time. You never know when it will lead to an internship or job opportunity.

Keep a spreadsheet of people you research and reach out to: date, name, job title, company, how you discovered them or any mutual connections, and any other notes you want to refer to. Follow up with anyone you haven’t heard back from after a week or two as people can get busy and emails can get lost in the shuffle. Most people want to help and may just need a reminder or compelling reason to respond. For those you have met up with, you might circle back every month or two once you have new things to chat about, but don’t let so much time go by that you wonder if they’ll remember you. If you do feel too much time has passed, gather enthusiasm to reinvigorate the relationship – it’s actually never too late. People who do nothing at all are the people who miss out on opportunities.

Learn more about where to meet people, conversation starters, follow-up and follow-through, and real networking stories in our Networking Tip Sheet below.

Informational Interview Guide (questions to ask to gather advice and information, not interviewing for a job)

Networking Tip Sheet (getting to know new people)


LinkedIn is a great resource to use in your networking research and outreach because it’s a professional social media site.

  • Search for Otis alumni on
  • Go to a company of interest and select “People” to see profiles of those who work there
  • Use a keyword search and filters to search by job titles, industries, and other categories to locate professionals of interest


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