Networking is the process of building relationships. A professional network can help you gather information, find job leads—including those that aren’t widely advertised—and connect with people who make hiring decisions.

There are many ways to build your professional network:

  • Talk to people you already know who are working in fields or industries related to your career interests, including professors or instructors in the College of Engineering and relatives, friends, or acquaintances who work in technical positions.
  • Use LinkedIn to make professional contacts with people you already know and make new connections through your existing contacts.
  • Arrange an informational interview with a professional in a career that you'd like to know more about.
  • Attend Penn State career events (especially those geared toward graduate students), including career fairs, information sessions, and professional talks and presentations. These events give you access to recruiters, professionals in your field, and alumni.
  • Join a student or professional organization related to your desired field. Many of the engineering student organizations have corporate sponsorship and invite industry contacts to give professional development presentations or company information sessions at general meetings.

Professional networking is an ongoing process. Maintain your network by staying in touch with your contacts periodically. Keep them abreast of your career search and any new developments.


Engineering Career Resources & Employer Relations

College of Engineering

117 Hammond Building

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802-4710

Phone: 814-863-1032