Networking is key to a successful career. If allows you to climb the corporate ladder, find new jobs, and navigate your career. College is an excellent time to start networking, since established engineers can help you find internships and jobs while providing career guidance. SWE is a great way to expand your network. With tens of thousands of members though, where do you start?
Your peers are a valuable resource. Go to SWE socials, volunteer events, and showcases to meet other students who share your goals and interests. Upperclassmen can tell you how they got internships and how to survive classes, which is invaluable.
SWE also gives you access to local engineering professionals. Host a joint event or volunteer alongside them. Many professional SWE sections enjoy working with local collegiate sections, so contact your local section. Invite professionals to your sections events, especially professional development events like resume workshops. And don’t forget conferences! I’ve met professionals from around the country at conferences. Don’t be afraid to sit with new people at lunches, especially those sponsored by a company. They are there to meet the engineers of tomorrow!
Once you meet someone, don’t let them slip away. Connect with them on LinkedIn or- write them a thank you email. If you see them at another conference, be sure to day hi!
How do you network?