Top 10 Networking Tips for Students

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

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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.

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

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

Top 5 Tips from Recruiters at LSU’s Career Expo

College of Engineering Communications Assistant M.B. Humphrey set out to the Career Expo last week with one goal: To find out what the employers want to see when meeting students. Here’s a bit of what the recruiters suggested:

1. Be excited!
Cramming an interview into an already packed day, complete with hikes across campus and even a quiz or two, is exhausting. Employers understand that, which is exactly why a bit of enthusiasm when you meet them goes a long way. That illustration of tenacity is just what a company seeks in an employee.

2. Put in some effort.
Companies want to employ people they know are going to get the job done. Show the effort of your professionalism by wearing business casual office attire and having your resume printed and properly formatted for your field. According to Alyse Aldridge, an LSU alumnus who currently works at Exxon Mobil, seeing students that are, “excited and put effort into displaying what they have to offer,” stand out.

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3. Do your homework.
Knowing what the company does is as simple as a quick Internet search. Take some time to know the company’s values, missions, goals and other philanthropic activities to make a positive impact on a company recruiter. According to Sam Migliore, director of product management at Bentley Systems, Inc., LSU students have been “some of the best prepared” because of their knowledge and the ability to communicate that information effectively.

4. Be prepared to show the company what you have to offer.
This is the perfect time to toot your own horn, and you’ll often have to do it quickly. In a career expo setting, you aren’t afforded the same courtesies you are in a pre-scheduled interview. Be cordial, but also be aware that your time is limited in what you can demonstrate about yourself and your skills.

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5. Know exactly what you want to do.
Shannon McGarry, director of recruiting at Omnitracs, LLC, explained that this is the most important step in a recruiter being able to properly place you within their company. She said that while a recruiter can help you figure it out, “a student knowing exactly what they want to do looks great and frees up time to talk more about the specific position.” By doing a bit of research ahead of time, you can determine what role you would best fill in the company and actively pursue that position upon meeting a recruiter.

Opting In for the Engineering Co-Op

Shane Harrington at an LSU football game.

Shane Harrington

My name is Shane Harrington and I am a junior chemical engineering student. I recently chose to accept a co-op with MAVERICK Technologies for the spring semester. I know that taking a co-op is always a tough decision for many engineering students. Leaving school to work in a whole new town while you watch your friends continue on through their academics is not an easy decision to make. The reason I accepted the co-op is because I felt that experience means a lot to employers, and to obtain a job in the industry upon graduation you need a great resume that sets you apart. What better way to gain practical experience than working with industry professionals for six months?

After the first three weeks working for MAVERICK in Pensacola, Fl I knew that my decision was the right one. I have learned more in three weeks than I could have ever imagined possible. I wish I was a sponge so that I could just absorb all the knowledge thrown my way. Working with a team of experienced engineers to solve real world problems has been extremely rewarding. Also taking what I have learned in my courses and applying that to real situations is a crazy feeling on its own.

I obtained this co-op by attending the career fair at LSU. I talked to several recruiters and then went through the interview process. If I had one piece of advice to give to a fellow student it would be to utilize the resources that LSU gives you and take advantage the great opportunities that are thrown you way. In the grand scheme of things, one extra year of college is nothing if it means a successful life and career after you graduate.

Geaux Tigers!

 By Shane Harrington
Chemical Engineering


The College of Engineering is proud to partner with the LSU Olinde Career Center to provide job opportunities for our students. We encourage all of our Engineering students to check out the resources that the LSU Olinde Career Center provides, including their upcoming career expos!

College of Engineering Networking Reception
February 11, 2015
6:00pm to 8:00pm
Location: Student Union Ballroom
This Pre-Expo Networking Reception allows employers participating in the Expo to visit with Engineering students in a more intimate setting than the Expo provides.

All Majors Career Expo
February 12, 2015
10:30am to 3:30pm
Location: PMAC
This event will be a one-day all majors career expo. The Engineering Expo will take place on the PMAC arena floor.

Making the Most of Your Time at LSU through Student Organizations

This blog post is contributed by a mechanical engineering junior named Jordan who has been involved in student organizations at the College and University level. She’s going to share with you how they’ve made a positive impact on her time at LSU and even her future!

My junior year at LSU I decided to get more serious about my future and getting a full-time job, so I decided to work at the Encounter Engineering freshman transitions camp and become a part of a student organization called the Society of Peer Mentors. I found out about this organization because all of my friends were in it, which is usually how you learn good information in college: talking to people. Building friendships, talking to people, and seeking advice has caused me to have the most success at LSU. Friendships help get you through classes because of moral support.

Society of Peer Mentors before Encounter Engineering Camp

Society of Peer Mentors before Encounter Engineering Camp

Although I have been in the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, American Society of Civil Engineers, African Student Organization, National Society of Black Engineers, Engineers Without Borders, and the Society of Women Engineers – the Society of Peer Mentors holds a dear place in my heart. The Society of Peer Mentors (SPM) instilled in me leadership skills, taught me responsibility, helped me network, and grow as a student. They taught me how to make a resume, interview and improve my communication skills. It also caused me to get rid of my hot pink hair and knee-high socks. SPM is an interdisciplinary leadership organization for STEM majors that feels more like a family than an obligation, and I can honestly say I would’ve dropped out of LSU if it weren’t for the people I turned to there for support. The faculty I met there really care about students’ success and the bonds I’ve made have been indelible.

Jordan with previous STEP Manager, Summer Dann, and another peer mentor.

Jordan with previous STEP Manager, Summer Dann, and another peer mentor.

Some other great things about the Society of Peer Mentors has been the students I’ve worked with. In SPM student innovation and involvement is key. In fact, some of my peers started Robotics mentoring programs at local schools and others started Louisiana’s first hackathon with “Geaux Hack.” It’s been amazing to constantly be working with amazing people that challenge me to be better every day.

Student organizations like SPM have been a stepping stone to my jobs. They taught me about responsibility and how to disagree with someone. I’ve had to deal with real-life issues like funding, conflict of interest and mentoring people in tough situations. They’ve made me a leader and have helped me connect to people I would’ve previously not thought possible. Undoubtedly the real world is harder. I found this out when I took a year off to work a Co-Op and get experience. But student orgs help you mature professionally, as well as personally, and help make the transition to full-time work easier.

Jordan and peers at a press conference with Gov. Bobby Jindal

Jordan and peers at a press conference with Gov. Bobby Jindal

That being said…Any form of involvement at LSU will help make you a better all-around person whether it be tutoring at the center of academic success, painting up with friends for football games, rolling down the Indian Mounds at four in the morning with your best friend, or playing pickup soccer with the international students on the Parade grounds. You get out of LSU what you put into it. As a student you need to enjoy college while it lasts and really find yourself. Take the time to discover your goals and passions and don’t get distracted from being happy. Make the most of your time at LSU and explore.

By Jordan Favret
Mechanical Engineering Junior