By Rose Jensen
Networking and connections are extremely important for business. More deals are made over rounds of golf than business school professors would care to admit. As Internet technologies proliferate into more industries, online networking is quickly becoming the next frontier for business dealings and negotiations. Here are the best social sites for business students looking to gain a competitive edge.
Sites for Undergrads
The next generation of business professionals are already online and connecting through social networks. Here are the best sites for business students to meet.
- Students INC: A social network for students to share ideas this great site includes tools and resources for actually starting a business.
- Student.com: This online community for college students contains information on grants, student loans or campus events.
- Uloop.com: A limited only to college students with ".edu" email addresses, Uloop is a network for college students to trade textbooks, plan study groups or promote parties.
- Student Founders: This social network connects students interested in new businesses and starting their own enterprises.
- Campusbug: This social learning network helps students share notes, organize study sessions and get better grades.
- Green School Supporters: For business students interested in green entrepreneurship, this network links the environmentally conscious.
- Idea Club: Idea Club is a social network designed for students to share their ideas, tips and advice for starting new businesses.
- StudentSN.com: At this social site users create their own profiles to share contact information and connect with others.
- Ideaolutions: A social network for students interested in fashion and current events.
- Playboy U: A social site from fine folks at Playboy offering features such as instant messaging and sex advice for college students.
- Global ICT Training: This social site helps business students develop computer skills that are becoming increasing necessary for professional employment.
- RateMyProfessor.com: Don’t get surprised by hard grading professors, this network shares information about teachers at school across the country.
- Technopreneur: Giving business students tips and advice for online entrepreneurship, this network provides helpful resources.
- B4Class: This social network helps college students share lecture notes, arrange tutoring sessions or discuss career goals.
- Business Card Network: This site for business students helps recent graduates network or find their next job.
- BLOOM: Business and Leadership Open and On-Going Mentoring (BLOOM) this network mentors undergraduate female business students as they begin their careers.
Networks for New Professionals
Students entering the business world, network to get jobs when they graduate, trade textbooks or simply chat. Here are the best sites for new or soon-to-be business professionals.
- Cofoundr: A private community for entrepreneurs starting new ventures, members use the site to find co-founders, build teams, and get advice.
- CMyPitch.com: Blogs, a community of entrepreneurs and resources for managing a business, this site is great for new investors and students just out of school.
- Biznik: This dedicated online community of entrepreneurs helps its members succeed in business and life.
- XING: This social site contains 8 million members sharing business contacts, advice and information.
- Ziggs: A great social network for helping business owners create and manage a brand, Ziggs simplifies communications between people online.
- Plaxo: An amazing resource for creating online business networks, this site offers its members tools for linking to popular social networks such as flickr.
- Ryze: Business networking and resources for finding quality contacts, Ryze has a huge member base and simple interface.
- NetworkingForProfessionals.com: A dynamic networking resource that combines online business networking and real life meetings.
- Linkedin: Over 40 million professionals meet and discuss business on this site helping uses stay informed and connected in their various industries.
- JASEzone: This online community of customers and business owners offer advice for improving customer service, products and other aspects of your company.
- Focus: A fantastic community of business owners helping others make purchasing decisions, this network is extremely useful to companies looking to expand for the first time.
- Fast Pitch: One-stop shopping for business professionals to network and market their business, Fast Pitch has connected millions of people across the world and provided a simple way for professionals to enhance their online presence.
- Entrepreneur Connect: With articles, posts and advice for succeeding in business, this site motivates its members to their goals.
- Perfect Business: This network includes advice and tips from some of the most recognizable names in business such as Virgin founder Richard Branson. Perfect Business includes well-written articles and other resources for recent business school grads.
- Ecademy: Linking business people from around the world, this site helps its members become successful in their new ventures.
- Upsring: A site is great for new business owners seeking brand growth or company promotion, upspring is an invaluable resource.
Sites for Getting Jobs
Social networking sites are fantastic resources for employment. These sites are specifically designed to help business professionals find a paycheck.
- Doostang: A network of young professionals from elite colleges and universities, Doostang places top talent at the top firms and companies.
- Monster Networking: A social network from the fine folks at Monster.com, this resource links one of the world’s largest job databases with an community of job seekers making it a powerful tool for recent grads or the unemployed.
- MeetingWave: This social site aims to arrange real world meetings between business professionals.
- Bright Circles: Built on a clever principle, this network connects people who’ve worked with one another to find job openings across industries, companies and firms.
- Fast Company: One of the very first social networks, this site helps professionals collaborate and communicated around the world.
- MyWorkster: Exclusive networks for professionals based on criteria such as industry or college, MyWorkster helps new grads get their dream jobs.
- JobFox: One of the fastest growing job sites on the Internet, this network matches users with jobs based on their interests and available work.
- Alumni.NET: Networks based on college and university affiliation, Alumni.NET finds people that could help with your career, college application or establishing a business.
- Koda: A social recruiting site, this network seeks to give recruiters and companies a more thorough overview of candidates’ skills and abilities.
- Jobster: Job alerts, postings, and advice, this network connects job seekers with companies and colleagues.
- JobIRN: An "insider referral network," this site offers quick, easy access to job recruiters and companies.
- Indeed: A job network adding several hundred thousand new listings every week, this site covers a wide range of industries.
- StartupNation: A network offering communities based on step to creating successful companies, this social service takes the unease out of starting a business.
Networks for Getting Involved
Despite the perception that business school is a money driven and self serving environment, many students are using their education’s to good use. Here are the best networks focusing on improving global economic conditions.
- CharitySocialNetwork.com: A place for caring people to gather and plan charity events and fundraisers, this site helps a variety of causes in meaningful ways.
- The Water Project: Access to clean water is necessary for basic sanitation and health. This social site is full of dedicated members seeking solutions to the world’s water crisis.
- Wiser Earth: A free online community connecting people, nonprofits and businesses working toward a just and sustainable world, WiserEarth connects users based on issues.
- TipJoy: Give money to great causes through popular micro-blogging site Twitter with this helpful resource for raising charitable funds.
- SocialVibe: A social site for connecting caring people and entrepreneurs with sponsors, this social network is designed to help make a real impact.