10 Easy Ways for Landscape Architecture Students to Network with Professionals

Attend expos and other events to meet the right people; image credit: pcruciatti /

Every student thinks: “What will I do after school?” For most students, getting a job in the field of design is the highest priority. The 2013 ASLA Recent Graduate Survey indicated that 89 percent of graduates will seek employment and hope to enter the field immediately after college. We have 10 tips to help you get a head start allowing you to network with professionals while increasing your odds of landing a job right out of school. 10. Stop by their offices and introduce yourself The internet has come to dominate our communications world. Remember that nothing goes further than a handshake and a smile. While many offices have the ability to work from remote locations and can hire from afar, small businesses are still the majority. 9. Join your professional society Professional societies such as ECLAS, ASLA, AILA, and CHSLA are the hub for your student and professional needs. Having a professional membership comes with many benefits. Societies often release publications highlighting professionals, create educational sessions with professionals such as webinars, and have job postings listed. 8. Attend local professional meetings

Visitors walk past stands at the Ideal Home Show 2013 in London on March 15, 2013; Image credit: pcruciatti /

Meetings are the best place to get to know numerous professionals at once. Professionals typically need to acquire continuing education points throughout the year. Take advantage of these meetings and dive right into the mix. Numerous firms are often represented at each meeting. If you don’t have a local professional group that meets in your area, get together with those in your field and start one. This shows initiative and impresses any employer.

7. Leverage social media platforms One of the easiest ways for professionals to check out a potential hire (you!) is to search for your name. Don’t make the mistake of letting your online presence prevent you from getting a job. In fact, consider social media an asset. While content can never replace quality, more exposure places you in front of a larger number of professionals. It is debatable which media outlet accomplishes more. Here is a quick list: personal website, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google +, Tumblr, Pinterest, Houzz, Land8, Twitter. The key here is to know the audience you are marketing to and make those connections. Feel free to visit my site and these others for examples

Universities, local governments, and other businesses such as newspapers host career fairs. Enhance your portfolio and resume and get cleaned up. Firms expect students to show up with their best, looking their best. 5. Studio interaction at school Many colleges invite professionals to lead or participate in academic studios. Drink in their experience and wisdom. Ask them questions about why they think the way they do and challenge yourself to think the same way, at least for a semester. 4. Volunteer for community service Think about the organizations in your community that might have relationships with landscape architects, and get involved. Many communities have community design centers that gather professional services for those who cannot afford them. 3. Don’t forget those professionals close to your field Landscape architects do not operate in a bubble. Connect with local architects, engineers, planners, horticulturists, government officials, and community activists. These are the people we interact with and learn from on a daily basis. 2. Find media outlets about landscape architects Numerous publications and online resources exist that can help us connect to other landscape architects. Read our recent article Top 10 Online Resources for Landscape Architecture to find out more. 1. Become the professional Some areas across the globe may not have many landscape architects. Take the initiative to learn what you can, and connect with those around you. Set up a strong foundation for those who will follow in your footsteps. Whatever your reason is for networking, the most important thing to do is to have an understanding of where you want to go and who can help you get there. Good luck, and keep checking back with Landscape Architects Network for up-to-date news on everything related to landscape architecture. Article written by Cameron R. Rodman Featured image: Hasloo Group Production Studio/shutterstock

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