Skills for Success – Networking
If there is any one key to success at FNU, it is networking. Networking is all about building relationships, connecting with people, and the possibility of creating new opportunities. Our Community of Inquiry (COI) learning model ensures you never walk this path alone and our teaching includes strategies especially suited for distance education. But still, it will take some effort on your part to “get out there” to make friendships personally and professionally. Networking can be intimidating, but it’s also essential to advancing your career.
At FNU, we use all possible pathways of communication: face-to-face, phone, video conferencing like Blackboard Collaborate and Google Hangouts, Facebook and a host of social media, and the Banyan Tree. We are truly a global village, a community of individuals engaged in nurse-midwifery and nurse practitioner education. The solution to isolation, stress, falling behind in your schoolwork, or being frustrated over an assignment, is there for the taking. Set a goal of networking with at least one Frontier student or faculty member every week and of writing at least one message to your class forum. The class forum message doesn’t need to be about school work or any work; sometimes the best messages are funny or revealing a bit about one’s self.
Here are some specific suggestions for staying connected with the FNU community:
- Network with other students: call, e-mail, or setup a chat time with the friends you made at Frontier Bound, Case Days, and/or Clinical Bound.
- Plan an informal social gathering for those who live in your area. You can search the student directory on the portal page using the “advanced” feature to search by who lives in your region.
- Find a study buddy, or create a study group.
- Call your Professional Advisor, Faculty Mentor, or your RCF; they are always glad to hear from you, even if it’s just to say hello.
- Keep in touch with your preceptors; let them know how things are going.
- Be kind to your preceptors; write a note, take them some bagels. You may be relying on your preceptors down the road for a reference letter, so show your appreciation early and often for all they are doing for you.
- Attend the local chapter meeting appropriate to your advanced practice discipline.
- Communicate with faculty as you are working on their courses. Be an active learner by speaking up if you have questions with the material.
- Participate in the course forums in ANGEL as well as the Frontier Community Connection forums on the Banyan Tree.
- Call or e-mail course coordinators if you have any questions about the course. This is the efficient way to get accurate information. You may even want to request a phone meeting with them.
- Attend FNU Case Days where you can network with current students, potential preceptors, alumni, and faculty in your area.
- ACNM, AANP, and ACNP national conferences and state or regional professional meetings are great places to meet with other students and faculty. Frontier often has a huge presence at these national conventions including receptions.
- Follow Frontier’s Facebook page to stay abreast of current happenings around the country! FNU is often on the road and we love to see our students when we travel.
- Consider joining the FNU’s SAGE mentor program as a mentor or as a mentee. It’s a great way to be matched up with a fellow student to share and support one another.
- Think about participating in our other student organizations: PRIDE, Student Council, and the Wide Neighborhoods Ambassador program.
If you have questions about any ideas presented here, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org