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How to Build Connections in a New City

After graduating college, many people decide to start their journey in a new city. With this comes the challenge of digging your roots and building a network in that city. UBWA alumna Alexis Lesko moved to Los Angeles after graduating Ohio State with a specialization in Marketing in 2016. She currently works at United Talent Agency in the music department as an Agent Trainee. Alexis shared her strategies with me to “inspire some women to follow their dreams or take a risk.”


Tip 1: Reach out to your coworkers


Building a new social network can be intimidating. A strategy that can help is getting close with your new coworkers. If you sense that you would mesh well with someone you work with, ask them to go to lunch or dinner after work one day. Even if you don’t end up getting close, they can give you the low down on your new workplace including advice to succeed, what the culture is like, and information about your new coworkers.


Tip 2: Ask your friends and family if they know anyone in the city you’re moving to


One of the best ways to build a network outside of work is to rely on the people you already know. Ask your peers if they have any friends or family living in your new city, especially people they think you would get along with. Alexis says that although “it’s not easy to bring yourself to hang out with strangers” at the beginning, “it gets easier and more often than not they will reciprocate.”


Tip 3: Find a social place to explore a hobby


Whether it be joining a gym or a pottery making group, exploring a hobby can help you meet people with similar interests. Taking up a hobby can also help to occupy your time and get you more involved in your new community. Although it may initially be difficult, ask people in your organization if they want to go out to lunch. At the very least, they can tell you the best local spots.


Tip 4: Reach out to your current network


Post on your social media asking your followers if they know anyone in your new city. Additionally, reach out to any mentors or professors you are close to. There is no shame in using the connections you have built up over your years at Ohio State. Alexis moved to Los Angeles “with no job lined up and no real plan of attack,” but through using this method, a friend of a friend helped her get her current job.


Tip 5: LinkedIn networking


Cold or warm networking via LinkedIn can help you. Make a post on LinkedIn asking your network if they have connections in the city you are moving to. Although “it may take dozens of messages,” eventually you will meet people who are willing to help you. These conversations could be as social or professional as you need. If you are focusing on developing a professional network, set the tone for the call and the questions you ask towards that. However, you can always use this tactic to ask people about the city you are moving to. They can give you good advice and maybe even offer to meet you when you move.


Overall, it is important to put yourself out there when you move to a new place. Alexis says, “If you put in the effort to reach out and meet new people, opportunities and doors will open for you.” When you move to a new city, be true to yourself and you will meet people who actually align with you. Through a new move, it is important to take care of your mental and physical well-being as it can be a scary and draining process.


I would like to thank you for reading this post and Alexis Lesko for her insight on such an important topic! If you have any questions about this content or would like to discuss more about the challenges of adapting to a new city after graduation, feel free to email me at dickman.122@osu.edu.

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