Many of you are probably familiar with the phrase, "It's not what you know, it's who you know." On the surface, the meaning of this seems evident. But how many of us stop to think about how important it is to your own professional development?
It's easy to think we have all the skills we need to succeed on our own (especially when you attend a school like
Let's put it in 21st-century terms: artificial neural networks (ANNs) are computing systems inspired by the biological networks in animal brains—that is, the systems "learn" to do things by drawing from examples and making specialized connections. The concept was first hypothesized and tested in the 1940s. By the turn of the millenium, it was a recognized fact that ANNs could quickly make decisions that less-connected systems just couldn't.
Similarly, when we create a good professional network, we benefit from a deeper well of examples and make better decisions than we would on our own. We make specialized connections. That's why, in order to succeed professionally, we need a good network. One reason is because we can pool pertinent knowledge and resources. Another reason is that as knowledge and resources are shared, we can build things together—and sometimes individually—that would never have been built before.
A good network—a community of like-minded individuals—is one of the most important resources a professional can have.
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