Let’s start by reflecting on how you made it to this moment in your education and career by taking a quick inventory. Which people have helped you get to where you are? Who was your first mentor? Which teacher influenced you the most and why? Who are you still in touch with and why?

Activity #1: Complete the below form to identify members of your first network.

First Mentor:

Top 3 Influencers:

Grade-school Teacher:

College Professor:

Who are you still communicating with today?

Who do you wish you could talk to for advice that you are no longer in touch with?

Who do you wish you talked to in the past but never did?


“Networking is traditionally a very social and speech- oriented skill, and these qualities present extra challenges for us. What I love about this guide is that it doesn’t offer small talk tips or speaking standards to follow because these are not the purpose or the way to successful networking.

The purpose is to make a connection with another person that helps both of you develop a relationship based on shared values and purpose and potentially work together towards a shared goal in an exceptional way that would not have occurred to you separately!“

– Kim Elmore, Former Coordinator, Disability Rights, Education, Activism and Mentoring (DREAM) at the National Center for College Students with Disabilities

A headshot of Kimberly Elmore, smiling.
Disability Rights, Education, Activism, and Mentoring (DREAM) logo