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Networking at private schools


Networking at private schools is a strong way for students to excel in their future career.

What is ‘networking’ for students?

Students often ‘network’ by establishing or building professional relationships and contacts.

Benefits of networking for students:
How will networking at private schools benefit my child’s future?

Networking at private schools

One main advantage of private or independent schools are the networking opportunities for students.

Different ways students are networking at private schools

1. Extracurricular activities and events

Private schools offer many extracurricular activities or events where students can network.

Many extracurricular activities, particularly inter-school activities at private schools involve industry professionals.

For example, academic extracurricular activities such as inter-school debating could be judged or watched by industry professionals. Additionally, many extracurricular activities are held at universities where academics are present. Private schools often host events for students in an extracurricular group to meet industry professionals.

networking at private schools. school presentation.

Photo by RODNAE Productions: https://www.pexels.com/photo/man-woman-desk-office-7648306/

Many private and independent schools also host events including industry-specific ‘careers’ speaking engagements, leadership events and seminars.

Students can utilise these opportunities to introduce themselves and build contacts for the future. Students can also ask questions and gain career insight.

2. Alumni Networks

Alumni engagement at private schools provide powerful connections from former students to current students.

Networking at private schools is commonly done through their influential alumni networks.

Over the past three years both face to face and online the OXA and Xavier College have engaged in many inspiring business network and Careers panel events.

The first of these was held at Bowens Brunswick showroom in October 2019, from here we held events at KPMG in Southbank, Colliers in the CBD, Grace Park Tennis Club and numerous on Zoom and Teams.

Each event has had a panel of approximately six members of the Xavier College community who share their journey from Xavier to now and provide insights into their chosen careers and a generous dose of dos and don’ts along the way.

To date we have held sessions on the building and construction industry, engineering, finance, health, real estate, entrepeurnship, bee keeping, drones, the business of beer, the AFL and racing.

The events have been attended by Old Boys in the workforce and current students at Xavier College.

“The generosity of Old Xavs to come back and share their experiences with young Old Boys and current students is truly humbling and the feedback received from the participants is always one of true gratitude and inspiration.”

The network opportunities at Xavier College and within the Old Xavs community are second to none and we encourage you to join us at future events.

Davina Calhaem, Alumni Coordinator at Xavier College

Alumnus contribute significantly at independent and private schools providing support and connection.

Some famous ex-students from Australian High School’s include:

Abbotsleigh: Louise Cox – President International Institute of Architects

St Aloysius’ College, NSW: Joe Hockey – MP

PLC Sydney – Presbyterian Ladies College: Justice Caroline Simpson – Supreme Court of NSW

3. Job searching after High School

Many of these alumni networks ensure students are employed in the future.

Making connections and contacts can lead to further information or an interview for a future job or internship.

Similarly, your child having alumni contacts will allow them to make connections to someone in the workplace which they are applying for a job. This opportunity will sometimes allow students to fast-track their application and connect.

How can my child gain alumni contacts?

Other than attending school events, a great tip for students is to add their school to the ‘Education’ category on LinkedIn. Students can find alumni as suggested connections.

The advancement of technology allows students to network digitally.

Social media such as LinkedIn will allow your child to research and prepare for job interviews.

Tips for networking at private schools for your child

Attend all the events

Encourage your child to attend any networking, alumni or careers related events at school.

Ensure your child’s schedule allows for extracurricular activities which relate to their future.

Join extracurricular activities that relate to your future career

Volunteering and fundraising

Encourage your child to attend volunteering or fundraising organised by the school.

Volunteering and charity work will allow your child to network with a variety of people.

Skills which appeal to interviewers:

Extracurricular activities involving volunteering provide soft skills such as communication, empathy and motivation for outcomes not involving money.

Schools often advertise volunteering opportunities suited to a range of disciplines. For example, future lawyers could help out at organisations that offer pro-bono work.

Sports or athletics

Engaging in sports or athletics extracurriculars could also take your child a bit closer to landing a job.

An American study by the Atlantic revealed many people in ‘higher management’ were or knew an athlete during their education. Applicants who were athletes were likely to precede in the workplace.

Ask fellow students

Encourage your child to reach out if they know a parent at the school that is an industry professional or runs a business they are interested in.

It is an easy way to create a network for the future.

Your child could even seek an administrative role, ask to shadow them or have work experience with them.

Gain knowledge

Listen & Ask

When networking, your child should be asking relevant questions pertaining to the industry or topic.

This will show your child’s genuine interest and enthusiasm whilst networking.

To network correctly, your child must listen and engage properly with the other person. They may gain knowledge beneficial to themselves and their career.

Practice communicating

Your child must attend many events and meet different people to practice communication. Speaking to people from diverse backgrounds, levels of seniority and personality types will help your child master networking.

It is a great way for your child to generate talking points, know how to connect with anyone and understand what to look out for in networking chats.

Choosing a school for your child can be difficult, if you wish to receive further information please see Choosing a School NSW 37 or Choosing a School VIC 34.

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