Building student networks

Building student networks

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Students study outside at the Royal University of Phnom Penh. Photograph: Phnom Penh Post

Education is one of many pertinent factors which enables individuals to have a bright future. But education alone does not guarantee a “happily-ever-after” - it’s imported to engage in peer-supported networking to carry you through the ups and downs of studying and beginning your career.

Communicating with your peers, networking, and opening up about your goals and aspirations might seem daunting, but these are valuable personal tools to acquire in order to find a healthy balance between your social and professional life.

The benefits of embracing good communication and networking skills are abundant and range from increasing your customers as an entrepreneur to making the workplace dynamic, lively and enjoyable for all employees.

Utilising networking skills allows you to find friendship and support in unlikely places. Studies suggest that those with good communication and networking skills are more successful professionally than those with diffident personalities.

Long Chandavy, a lecturer at Department of Sociology at Royal University of Phnom Penh says, “people who lack communication skills might find it harder to adapt in a professional setting.”

Ok Serei Sopheak, a political analysts and freelance consultant at International Organisation believes that while education provides students with knowledge and skills, it does not provide them with professional experience. A great deal of of your professional personality is shaped by who you meet in the industry, and the effort to which you network and build those contacts.

While working towards achieving your career goals, it’s important to balance out the study, and networking by focusing on your own personal goals and friendships. It’s important to work out which balance works for you.

People are complex creatures, and are more than just their job title, their GPA or being labeled the class clown.

Seat Lykheang, a fourth year student at Royal University of Agriculture, is pleased with his work-life balance “Two heads is better than one... investing time into my friendships through communication means I’m offered more advice and encouragement” he says.

It’s a common fear of Cambodian students that making friends at university or in a professional setting is hard, because people are too busy to engage socially

There is more than one cause that leads student far away from their friend. The may thought that everybody around them is mess up with their study or they are too busy and have no time.

Ms Chea Guechlaing explains that it’s as simple as having something to eat together during a break, “doing this can really encourage communication and strengthen new relationships.”

Chea Guechlaing , a student at Institute of Foreign Languages and the University of Health Science says, “Through building networks, I understand more about myself from my seniors who advise me on my future and help me find jobs through internships which allows me to gain the required experience. They have also taught me how to balance my professional obligations with my social life.”

Mrs Chandavy has seen many students struggle when it comes to communication and building professional relationships. While some of her students receive high marks, they often neglect the opportunity to make friends, and this hinders them later on when they need to build professional ties in their chosen industry.

She encourages he students to find a happy medium between solitary study, career networking and socialising. And insists all three are important factors in future success and self-fulfilment.

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