Just sharing some thoughts here.
When you go to a networking event, nobody is going to give a sh*t if whether you are “just” a student, or an already successful entrepreneur. They will only care about the story you tell. An entrepreneur can be so successful, but if he doesn’t have an interesting story to tell, people will quickly move on to the next one they walk into. If you have a unique vision or passion where you can talk about, people will listen. And you do not have to worry about “authority” or “reputation”. You can tell your story about your current goal(s) and (small) achievements.