Top 10 Networking Tips for Students

Check out this list of the Top 10 Networking Tips for Students, by students!

Top 10 Networking Tips graphic

1. Start now. Developing your network is a skill that takes time to develop, and with practice it can be something that guides your future. Attend as many conferences as you can.

2. Learn how to properly shake hands. A firm handshake while looking at the recipient can make a strong impression.

3. Make eye contact. It’s an easy way to show the person you are talking to that you are listening and this will help you stand out.

4. Get involved with your student organizations. They are what you make of it, and can be another way to stand out and provide value to the industry you meet. It can also help you meet more students with similar goals or interests.

5. Be genuine. When you meet people it’s easy to develop relationships with them if they know you are genuine. It helps build trust and rapport.

6. Provide value to those you speak to. An easy way for me to do this was through student organizations. As I stated earlier, industry wants to get involved with student groups. Take advantage of it. Invite them to come speak, or see if your group can tour their facility.

7. Try not ask about jobs or internships. Build rapport with whom you speak to. If you are doing a good job, they will bring up jobs or internships without you having to ask.

8. Speak to people at conferences and learn what they have to say. Everyone knows something that you don’t. Have a goal when going to conferences to learn more about your field of study and your career. Ask thought provoking questions, often times it will help you to stand out and make more contacts.

9. Be professional and make sure you are presentable. Companies are always scouting new hires.

10. Follow up with everyone you meet. Add them on LinkedIn. Another great way to follow up is by sending them an email about getting involved in your respective student organization.

IMG_1439

Ryan Barsa
Petroleum Engineering
Hometown: Mendham, NJ
President, AADE at LSU

5 Perks of Joining the LBTC’s Student Incubator

The college’s communications assistant, M.B. Humphrey, sat down with Kenny Anderson, the Louisiana Business and Technology Center’s Student Incubator manager to talk about what the program has to offer to students at LSU.

The LBTC Incubator Ecosystem is split into six programs, all with the goal to “assist the growth of businesses by assisting entrepreneurs with company operations and supplying resources that are fundamental for success.” One of the newest, the Student Incubator, is “open to any LSU student, from undergraduate to doctoral degrees,” at the discounted rate of $25 per month. Anderson shared that students from the College of Engineering are the incubator’s most “ideal client, because they often have the most innovative ideas,” that the incubator can easily help commercialize for consumers.

Each year, they host a Student Incubator Venture Challenge to showcase LSU’s brightest student entrepreneurs and give them a chance to win capital toward their respective businesses. Any start-up, including non-profit organizations, can enter. The start up venture must be a part of the Student Incubator by March 25, 2016 to be eligible to participate in this year’s “Shark Tank”-styled challenge. Read more about the services you can receive just by being a member of the LBTC’s Student Incubator below!

Venture Challenge

1. PERSONALIZED IDEA DEVELOPMENT
Anderson explained that no idea is too “early stage” for the incubator to help assist with your plans for you business. There is a short application process for the program where interested business meet with an LBTC staff member. During the meeting, you will get a tour of the facilities of the LBTC, followed by a one-on-one meeting to hash out the details of your plan and a path for your ideas.

“It’s not a cookie-cutter process with everyone, which is purposeful on our end,” Anderson said. “We sit down and we hear what you’ve done so far with your idea, where you’ve been, and it’s all confidential. Then we determine a timeline, growth plan and how our team here can fit in and help you.”

2. UNLIMITED ACCESS TO CONSULTING SERVICES
After the initial meeting with Anderson and his colleagues, students are offered a host of consulting services including: market research, strategic planning, intellectual property strategy and cash flow management.

“We actually have a software program, called LivePlan, which is a cloud-based business planning software that offers templates for creating business plans and help with financial planning. It’s usually $20 per month, but Student Incubator members have access to it for free,” Anderson said. “Because its cloud-based, the student client can work from home, section by section, and then they can add us as a contributor to allow us to review their plan and offer tips and feedback, as well. All without having to physically meet each time.”

venturechallenge2015072

3. RELEVANT NETWORKING OPPORTUNITIES
Every entrepreneur or person in the any industry will say that networking with the right people was pertinent to his or her career at some point. Being a member of the student incubator will connect you with the people you need to get your business or idea on the right path. These connections include fellow people in your respective industry to lawyers that help you protect your intellectual property.

“Our network is great for our clients. Our director, Charlie [D’Agostino], knows everybody and really makes things happen,” Anderson said. “Since I’ve started working here, over three years ago, I’ve definitely seen how students are impacted by our network. There are industry connections made and even some students who have had the opportunity to reach media outlets.”

4. COWORKING SPACE AND 3D PRINTING
Included in your membership is workspace for you and your colleagues, so that you all don’t have to work in a noisy coffee shop or in someone’s home. The coworking space includes WiFi, a lounge and kitchen area, conference rooms for meetings and four cubicles for a semi private work environment.

There’s also been a new program added, ProtoStripes, that was designed to help small businesses with “fabricating, designing, prototyping and programming” items for their companies. It gives businesses the opportunity to create rapid prototypes and computer renderings with help from people who specialize in that area.

venturechallenge2015056

5. THEY WON’T LEAVE YOU HANGING
In addition to networking opportunities and consulting services, volunteers from the business community and the LBTC Advisory Board act as mentors to further provide guidance to members of the program. Also, students are allowed to stay in the program for one full year after they graduate from LSU.

“We still won’t drop students after that full year after graduation,” Anderson said with a chuckle. “From there we usually just switch them from student member to affiliate client and they still receive the same services. We’ve even had people that we worked with in the past, reach out to us years later for some help for a new business that they’ve started and we’re always willing to help them, too. If we’ve worked with you in the past, we aren’t going to hang you out to dry.”

If you’re ready to take your idea to the Student Incubator, be sure to visit their website or contact Kenny Anderson at kande55@lsu.edu.

– written by communications assistant M.B. Humphrey

Inside ASCE at LSU

To understand what a student organization is all about, just take a look at what the students spend their time doing! ASCE at LSU provides an inside look at their activities from the 2015 fall semester.

The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) at LSU had a busy fall semester with our bi-monthly student chapter meetings, attending community service events and touring the Patrick F. Taylor construction site on LSU’s campus. The most recent chapter meetings featured guest speakers from ASCE Coasts, Oceans, Ports and Rivers (COPRI) and BASF. Daniel Dehon and Jarret Bauer, two professionals in the field, spoke about the Coasts, Oceans, Ports and Rivers Institute of ASCE and how students can get involved. Kenneth Arceneaux, an employee of BASF, spoke about various civil engineering projects, tips on how to be successful and ethics in engineering.

Our ASCE student chapter joined the Louisiana Water Environment Association (LWEA) student members for a community service event to clean up the LSU lakes on October 11, 2015. A total of 24 students participated in removing debris and trash around the lakes and the surrounding areas.

LSU Lake Clean-Up

LSU Lake Clean-Up, October 11, 2015

In conjunction with the ASCE Baton Rouge Branch, LSU ASCE student members attended a luncheon featuring the $110 million Patrick F. Taylor Hall renovation and expansion project. Guest speakers Roger Husser, Director of Planning, Design and Construction for LSU Facility Services, and Mike Lemoine, Operations Manager for the Lemoine Company, spoke of the construction progress made in the expansion, and of the future phases in construction. A tour of the perimeter of the construction site followed the meeting, guided by Roger Husser.

Rendering of Completed Patrick F. Taylor Hall - East Elevation

Rendering of Completed Patrick F. Taylor Hall – East Elevation

The spring semester is sure to be even busier with our Concrete Canoe and Steel Bridge competitions! To learn more about ASCE at LSU, visit asce.lsu.edu or follow us on Instagram @ascelsu.

Engineer Your Career…Today!

This blog post comes from one of our doctoral students who has some great career advice for all students. Whether you’re getting ready to start college or getting ready to graduate, these tips are for you! 

Jodi Boutte

Jodi Boutte

Throughout my graduate school career I noticed myself and other fellow college students suffering from the ‘shoulda-­‐coulda-­‐woulda’ syndrome. I should have done this, I could have participated in that, or if I had known, I would have done this instead of that. Sound familiar? I thought so. 🙂 As a 7th year graduate student (yes, I said 7th year), I find myself reflecting a lot on my previous years as a student, and everything just seems to be a blur or filled with overwhelming moments of rush, rush, rush. So how could I have provided myself with a better experience? Just as we apply engineering principles to a vehicle or process…Why not ‘Engineer Your Career.’ Designing your career path ahead of time can be very helpful and a huge weight off your shoulders as you work your way through undergrad and determine your next route…graduate school or industry. Here are a few ‘lessons-­‐learned’ throughout my graduate career that you may find helpful:

Lesson #1: Think with the End in Mind!
Put together Education and Career Plans as soon as possible. An education plan is a guide through your academic program. For example, you may want to get a minor in an area unrelated to your major; with an education plan, you can determine how to incorporate the additional courses into your current work load. A career plan is an action plan to follow to help you acquire knowledge and skills in addition to opportunities that will help to excel your chosen area of interest, such as internships, research experiences, or volunteer programs. Try using Microsoft Excel to list these milestones and be certain to include significant dates and deadlines.

Lesson #2: Show Your Work!
Make it a point to start a Portfolio. Portfolios are a purposeful collection of work that exhibits your efforts, progress, and achievements. Your portfolio should contain personal statements, cover letters, resumes, transcripts, diplomas, certificates, awards, presentations, projects, and letters of recommendation to name a few. It’s easy to get started, just grab a binder and begin organizing your materials. By the way, it’s always a great idea to have hard-copies of your work, so include anything you’ve worked on that provides substance.

Lesson #3: Build and Maintain Bridges!
Everyone needs a Mentor, especially students because we have a lot of uncertainties in various areas of life during our college years. A mentor can be a family member, fellow student, company employee, church member or someone you may happen to meet and look up to. Mentors are there to provide encouragement, guide you in your career choice, be resourceful, and offer opportunities and advice as you grow into a professional. Don’t know how to reach out to a potential mentor? First, make a list of potential mentors or reach out to a local organization with a mentoring program. Second, try reaching out to these specific individuals by email or phone and set up a time to meet over coffee or lunch. Third, be prepared with a list and be clear about your expectations of them as a mentor; it won’t hurt to be familiar with this individual’s background as well.

In addition, every design requires balance, so be sure to find balance in your everyday life – spiritual, social, physical well-being, emotional and intellectual. You are sure to reap the benefits of your college years when implementing these lessons into your daily life. Need further information on the tips mentioned, feel free to contact me at jboutte1982@gmail.com. And don’t forget; Start today….Engineer Your Career!

By Jodi Boutte’, M.S.
Industrial engineering doctoral candidate