VIA establishes a subject in networking

Two VIA students are networking
VIA Campus Herning now teaches networking to all 1st semester students. The subject is called “Strategic & Personal Networking” and it is said to be the first obligatory subject in networking at Danish institutes of education.

“Strategic & Personal Networking” is a subject that should give the students an insight in how networking can create value and growth in business. At the same time a professional and per-sonal development process should commence through an analysis of the students’ own com-petences as to networking. 

Flemming Binderup Gammelgaard, chief consultant in Creative Business Center at VIA Univer-sity College, has developed the subject in a co-operation with lecturers and external consul-tants. According to him networking is an important skill and a condition of innovation and growth. Therefore students must develop this qualification while they study. 

”Networking is about results, efficiency, knowledge sharing, collaboration and innovation. It is about using yourself and your resources in the right way in interaction with others. By helping each other and working interdisciplinary you can create results faster, better and easier,” says Flemming Binderup Gammelgaard. 

Sharp profile at LinkedIn 

Networking at the social media is one of the topics. Among other things the students will work with LinkedIn – one of the most used job-oriented social platforms. The students are encour-aged to set up their profile, create professional contacts and participate actively in professional sparring. 

“It is extremely important with a sharp online profile. Out students must be present online, and they must be good at communicating who they are and what they can do,” says Marianne Winding, who is one of the lecturers. She continues: 

“Therefore we teach the students to expose – through the social media - their qualifications in order to be noticed. Students with a strong personal brand could improve their possibilities in finding a work placement while they are studying as well as a job after their studies. 

An important lead as networkers

The instruction in ”Strategic & Personal Networking” will vary between theory and practice Some students will find it easy to use their network, while others will have to test some con-crete tools first before they dare take the plunge. 

The teaching material for this subject has been developed in co-operation with experts within networking from the consultant company Netværks Akademiet (The Network Academy). Susie Lynge, one of the partners, is also convinced of the importance of the subject. She explains: 

“We live in a knowledge society where information and relations are central in order to have success. And the fastest way of obtaining new knowledge and new contacts has proved to be through networking. With the teaching in networking VIA Design+Business gives the students an important lead as networkers and thus promote their possibility of success in the future.” 

More about the subject “Strategic & Personal Networking” 

The co-operation with Netværks Akademiet is made possible by means of funding from the project “Entreprenørskab I VIAs uddannelser” (Entrepreneurship in VIA’s programmes). 

The project currently puts resources aside for development of new subjects, courses and mo-dules to strengthen entrepreneurship and innovation. Helle Winding, director of the business programmes at VIA UC, TEKO Design+Business, is of the promoters of the new subject. She is enthusiastic about the new possibilities: 

“We are happy about the project funding. It has made it possible for us to develop our pro-grammes further. It is essential that our programmes are up-to-date and innovative and thus live up to the expectations of our students and companies.” 

Entrepreneurship in VIA’s programmes: 

The project “Entrepreneurship in VIA’s programmes” is a co-operation between Den Eu-ropæiske Socialfond, Region Midtjylland, Herning Kommune og VIA University College (The European Social Fund, Central Denmark Region, The Municipality of Herning and VIA University College). “Strategic & Personal Networking” The nine themes in “Strategic & Personal Networking” are: 

  1. Personal & strategic networking as a qualification 
  2. Use yourself and your personality actively 
  3. Set goals and achieve them 
  4. Strategic networking 
  5. Communication & impact 
  6. Presentation techniques 
  7. Networking through social media 
  8. Networking in a commercial and social perspective 
  9. Creativity and innovation through networking 
The subject consists of 40 lessons spread over 10 days.