Networking for Beginners

Networking with big name companies such as Amazon and Johnson & Johnson can be extremely intimating, especially if its your first time. Before you psych yourself out, try out some of the tips and tricks I have learned throughout my time and experiences here.

One of the biggest things I have learned is that Penn State loves Penn State. Our university has one of the largest alumni networks in the country. There are more than 700,000 Penn State graduates and over 88,000 Smeal alumni. So if you’re casually scrolling through linked in don’t be shy to reach out to fellow classmates and alumni as they will be more than happy to connect and share their advice/experiences with you. In addition to this, there are many networking opportunities that Penn State has to offer such as the career fair. At events like these, many of the recruiter are specifically looking for students from Penn State, so just be yourself and let your personality show.

Secondly, it’s also really important to do your research on the company. Often times recruiters will ask you why you are interested in their company or why you might be a good fit at their company. Thus, it is essential to know what that company does in general along with company values and culture. This will show employers that you are genuinely interested in working for them.

Lastly, don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. While attending these networking events, you might feel like your underqualified especially if you are a freshman or sophomore with little real world experience. With that said, even if employers and recruiters are only seeking candidates that are older, they love to see the enthusiasm these young students portray. If you consistently showing up to these networking events and building relationships with the recruiters, they will remember your name which will be beneficial to you when you reach the grade range they are seeking. Furthermore, the more practice you have talking and interviewing, the better your skills and confidence will improve.

By following some of these tips, you will be much more comfortable in the recruiting process.

By Ashley Loy
Ashley Loy Intern