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.

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

Preparing for College: Tips from a current student

Get insider tips on how best to prepare for college in this month’s blog post from a current engineering student!

Preparing for College graphic

College is a time you should be excited for. You’re finally on your own, studying what you want, and are actually a part of that student body you watched cheering in Tiger Stadium for so many years. It is a great time in your life, but if you have chosen to be an engineer you should know that going from high school to college is one of the largest (and most important) transitions you can make during your educational career. The saying, “freshman year is the most important year” is a slogan that will be pounded into your head. With the excitement of entering college it may get pushed aside, but the saying could not be more true, and hopefully this post will give some insight to how to best prepare yourself for the year ahead.

The awesome possibility of scheduling classes late in the day so you can sleep hours past that early time you were up every morning for high school is, indeed, awesome. Sleep is great, in fact I guarantee sleep will be more exciting than ever before after one semester, but what’s even better? Great grades and free time all at once…. You’ll learn rather quickly that 24 hours in a day is a lot shorter than you think. Learn NOW how to manage your time to get up early and get your day going soon. Eat a good breakfast, grab some coffee, and start knocking out your homework and studying early. Ideally make it so that you can go to class with your assignments for that day completed, as it is so much easier to focus and get a lot out of class. Plus you’ll have the rest of the day to study more for that upcoming test or get personal errands done.

Speaking of homework, and this may sound profound, but “learn” how to do homework. In engineering, working problems is the best way to learn your material. It is very tempting to google the answers to all your assignments, but learn how to sit down, use the text book, and get the most out of your homework. It will pay off come exam time. Your homework will be difficult at first because it is material you have likely not encountered before, but just take a deep breath and know it will take some time to master everything. So like I mentioned before, learn how to make a schedule throughout the day and make time for getting your homework done.

One habit that you should start doing before you even step foot on campus: to-do lists. It will make everything I’ve mentioned come a lot easier to you. Before you go to bed each night, or when you wake up, make a to-do list of everything you know needs to be completed that day. Prioritize your list, and check off each one as you get it done throughout the day. Not only is this a great way to see what you’re actually accomplishing, but it is a great feeling to check off items on your list.

As I mentioned before, and there is really no way to “prepare” for this, but recognizing that days are a lot shorter than they seem, and that you are busier than you may realize is perhaps the most important advice one can hear. You do not have the time you think you have. Procrastination is deadly and getting a head start on assignments makes life 20 times easier. Everything I have said in this post may come across as pretty obvious tips, but truly understanding that they matter and how to implement them is how one can best prepare for the life of being an engineer. Keeping things like this in mind will allow you to quickly adapt and form your own schedule and ways to be productive. College is a great time and is important to your future. Having great grades early on freshman year is crucial to that experience as class will only get harder with a busier schedule every semester. Hopefully keeping some of these things in mind will maximize your time and education at LSU!

Griffin Selby
Major: Petroleum Engineering
Hometown: Hoover, Alabama
Student Org: AADE

Why I Came to LSU

This blog post comes from one of our undergraduates majoring in petroleum engineering. He shares why he chose to attend LSU as an out-of-state student, what he finds unique about the college, and what his experience has been like so far.  

“If you want to be successful, you must decide exactly what you want, then be willing to pay the price to get it.” – Bunker Hunt

So why LSU? Is this school and Petroleum Engineering worth the 1,500 miles from my home and family? Can I actually do this? Am I good enough? These are just some of the questions I asked myself 10 months ago. Born and raised in Michigan, I didn’t have the luxury of studying Petroleum Engineering anywhere in-state or any nearby states. This was just another obstacle for me to overcome. So I began my search for a school by simply Google searching, “Top 10 Petroleum Engineering programs.” That was the first day I even heard Louisiana State University had a petroleum engineering program, let alone being in the top 10 in the country. So I made a list of five schools from that list that I would consider attending and began to research each school completely.

The last school I researched was LSU, but of course I already knew about the athletics. So I definitely liked the idea of getting to watch some of the best athletes in the country compete and get the opportunity to meet them around campus. Also, the campus was without a doubt the nicest of all the campuses I considered attending. Warm winters, as compared to a winter in Northern Michigan, was just another one of the great things about LSU. The most appealing thing about the LSU College of Engineering to me was having access to the Petroleum Engineering Research and Technology Transfer Laboratory (PERTT Lab) which is on LSU’s campus. The facility consists of six live wells used for research. Students have opportunities to work at the facility and gain experience, which I thought was extremely important.

Also, not only was the size of the College of Engineering impressive, but with a 90 percent placement rate into employment or graduate school after graduation was very appealing. Ultimately, I decided to go to LSU based off a phone conversation I had with Fredrick Thurber, the coordinator for the Petroleum Engineering department. He told me that if I wanted to graduate with a great education and world of opportunity in the oil industry in front of me, then LSU is the place to be.

Chris Adams in Tiger Stadium

Chris Adams in Tiger Stadium

Since coming to LSU, I have grown a lot as an individual. I had no idea how many great people I would meet. I’ve made life-long friends in the few months I have been here. I have had great instructors that have challenged me in the classroom, but allowed me to see just what I am capable of. Since coming to LSU I have gotten involved in student organizations that allowed me to make great friends, connections in the industry, and have some great experiences. As a petroleum engineering major, I am involved with the LSU Student Section of the American Association of Drilling Engineers and with the Society for Petroleum Engineers. Without both of these great organizations, my LSU experience would not be the same.

The American Association of Drilling Engineers - LSU Section

The American Association of Drilling Engineers – LSU Student Section

So if you are considering LSU and our College of Engineering, Geaux for the Gold! Come see what is offered here. A great education, beautiful campus, amazing programs, possibly the best few years of your life, and so much more is all waiting here for you in the LSU College of Engineering.

By Christopher Adams
American Association of Drilling Engineers, Executive Assistant
Major: Petroleum Engineering
Hometown: St. Louis, MI

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

Encounter Engineering at LSU Before School Starts

Encounter Engineering (E2) Camp begins in just a few weeks for our incoming class of 2019. For you younger students out there, here’s some more information about our camp and a blog from a student who’s not only attended the camp herself, but worked for it as an upperclassmen.

About Encounter Engineering
Encounter Engineering (E2) is a one week bridge camp hosted the week before the fall semester each year. It introduces incoming engineering, construction management, and computer science first-year students to the College of Engineering and helps them transition from high school to college mindsets. Dedicated staff, counselors, and peer mentors work hard to give these students everything they need to succeed. Each group of incoming freshmen is paired with a peer mentor that is either currently in the student’s preferred major or a major of interest in the College of Engineering. Peer mentors guide students through a variety of activities, lead design and professional development sessions, and host evening activities with industry personnel.


Giselle Medina

Giselle Medina

Hi, my name is Giselle Medina, and I am currently a senior in mechanical engineering at Louisiana State University as well as a peer mentor for the Society of Peer Mentors. I am originally from Beaumont, Texas, so coming to LSU not knowing anyone else in engineering was stressful to think about.

As an incoming freshmen, participating in Encounter Engineering (E2) created a smooth transition from high school to college academics. One of the great things that my family and I liked about this camp is that I got to move in a week early and adjust to the campus before college classes even started. This was such a comfort since I was able to become familiar with the buildings and campus a week in advance. While this was great, I quickly realized how much more this program had to offer.

A few weeks before camp even started, I remember getting an email from my peer mentor introducing herself and telling me all about Encounter Engineering. Just this simple act was enough to get me excited! I could not wait! The first day of camp, my parents and I went to the theater in the LSU Student Union and were introduced to our peer mentor and student groups. After that, I remember saying goodbye to my parents, going to my residence hall, and making friends with other campers immediately. Not only was this camp an eye opener to life as an engineering student at LSU, but it was a great way for me to make friends and get to know students before school even started!

I remember the first few days were super eventful. We were working on a Rube Goldberg design project with our team which helped us get a better understanding of what engineering was like. A Rube Goldberg is a project where you complete a simple task in as many steps as possible. We were given a limited amount of supplies with some “currency” we could use at a “shop” in case we wanted to buy more supplies. The team with the most steps, least amount of money spent, and a successful Rube Goldberg would win the contest. Unfortunately, my team did not win, but it was still a fun and insightful experience!

Students at Encounter Engineering camp

Students at Encounter Engineering camp

I also attended mock calculus and physics classes during camp and met some of my future professors. I knew my calculus and physics professor before school even started! Each class was set up to be an example of what an actual college class was like. This proved to be another big help for me because I had a better understanding of what to expect. Towards the end of E2, we all attended a large industry dinner with industry personnel from different companies. This was a huge opportunity for us since we were able to network with professionals before our other classmates.

One of my favorite parts about the camp was the academic discussions with peer mentors and faculty about transitioning into college, as well as how to keep up good grades and a social life. No one can give better advice than a student who has been in your shoes and has gone through the classes you will be going through. The entire experience was invaluable and definitely helped prepare me for my first day. Without E2, I would not have met the friends I currently have today. I would not have had a role model and mentor in my major that I could go to for advice or academic help. Most importantly, I would not have become a peer mentor and helped other incoming freshmen as I do today.

So why should you consider Encounter Engineering? I would say for a few reasons. It has been observed that students who went attended the E2 camp were more likely to stay in the College of Engineering and succeed in their classes versus students who didn’t participate. Just one week of mock classes, team building, discussions, design challenges, and more led to tremendous outcomes. Also, students are given a valuable connection through Encounter Engineering – their peer mentor. My first summer as a peer mentor, I had a group of four students. Even after camp was over, I kept in contact with most of them. I was able to give them study aid books and online copies of my textbooks that helped them in their freshmen classes. I was able to answer any questions they had about the campus or the College of Engineering. I was able to give them advice about mechanical engineering classes, and it simply goes on from there. The last reason, and a big reason why I participated, was because it gave my parents and me peace of mind about starting college. My parents knew that I would be in good hands and learn from the program. I knew that I had an extra week to learn about LSU, learn from upperclassmen in the College of Engineering, and meet my classmates before school started.

– Giselle Medina
Senior, Mechanical Engineering

For more information about Encounter Engineering, please visit our website at www.eng.lsu.edu/current/freshmen/e2.