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Networking

Networking Series Part I: Making Small Talk

Networking.  The word alone makes some people cringe.  Me included!  The thought of making small talk to people I don’t know, often in an uncomfortable setting, is just not the most appealing thing.  I get it!  However, networking is a part of life and is essential while you are job seeking. 

Part one of our two part series on networking will give helpful tips to making small talk.

PREPARING TO MAKE SMALL TALK:

  • Create a list of topics that you enjoy talking about and can do so with ease.   Specific to your job search, this can include your career interests, projects, favorite classes, etc.  Even if it is a career-related networking event, feel free to talk about passions and interests OUTSIDE the realm of engineering; doing this provides an inside look at who YOU are, and you never know what interests you may have in common.  This … 
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Professional Organizations: To Join or Not to Join

What are the things you’ve considered in the past when joining extracurricular activities? Stakeholders? Community service? Socialization with others? Costs? Extracurricular activity considerations do not have to be completely different when thinking about joining a professional organization.  

Professional organizations can be formal or informal. One of the most resourceful, but often missed opportunities for a professional organization is staying connected with your classmates. Your classmates likely have similar professional interests. Think of ways to stay connected with them after graduation or throughout college, whether that be a LinkedIn group or creating your own focus groups that meet monthly to discuss current trends in your industries of interest.

On a more formal side of professional organizations, there are numerous professional organizations to choose from, but how to find the right one is the ultimate dilemma.

Consider:

  1. Defining your interests.

  2. Understanding the mission and vision of the organization.

  3. Knowing your time constraints … 

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Why Should I Job Shadow?

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be a R&D Engineer for an automotive company or a Project Engineer in the oil and gas industry? Well, here’s your chance to find out!

The 2015 OSU Engineering Job Shadow Program will allow you to ask questions from the experts and experience the normal day-to-day activities engineers face while working in that specific role.

What are the key benefits from participating in the 2015 Job Shadow Program?

NETWORKING:

The earlier you start building relationships with people in your field of interest, the better! If you make a good impression during your job shadow events, you’ll likely be kept in mind as a candidate for a current/future opening. In fact, 80% of employers utilized the Job Shadow Program as a recruitment tool for their company in 2014.

LEARNING:

Job shadowing also allows you to become aware of trends in the field, witness … 

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Use Informational Interviewing to Develop Job Prospects

The holidays are fast approaching.  Hooray! Time to rest, relax, and take a break from school work and the job search. Right?? Well, almost.

Actually, winter break is the perfect time to practice networking and conduct informational interviews.  Remember your dad’s coworker’s wife who works for Honda? Oh yeah – maybe you should talk to her.

What is an informational interview?

It is a one-on-one conversational with someone who has a job you might like, who is employed by a specific company that you’re interested in learning about, or who works within an industry you might want to enter.  The purpose of this is to gather advice and information. Let’s make this clear: you are not interviewing for a job/asking for a job.  You are having this conversation strictly to learn, and hopefully, build a relationship and your network.  If you do this right, you … 

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Common Greeting Etiquette Mistakes

How you greet someone professionally is one of the most important parts of your job search. Most people know what constitutes good manners in their culture, and very few people deliberately set out to be rude. And while in my position at the front desk of Engineering Career Services I rarely see anyone with overtly bad manners, I do see many opportunities to have better manners. It’s not enough to KNOW what the right thing to do is, you must then DO it.

Many of the slip-ups that I see come from the same source—nervousness. When your adrenaline is high for an interview or any kind of meeting, you can sometimes forget the niceties that will make the best first impression possible. The key to overcoming this is, of course, practice. Practice your professional greetings until they are second nature. Trust me, with a few minor polishes, you can stand … 

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