On building your network.

As our language classes are coming to an end, MIM students will have no morning class for the rest of the program, meaning that finding a job, and kicking off a career is possible!  A while ago I posted something about the career services center at PSU, that MIM students have access to, and I figure that now’s a good time to elaborate on the full spectrum of career related services (and benefits) that are available to the MIM.  First and foremost, is Pamela Duschee, the Director of Marketing and Recruitment for the School of Business, and the acting career guru.  She offers a sincere interest in connecting students to careers that they are suited for and interested in.  However, before you can unlock that wealth of networking power, you have to attend two career-meetings hosted by Pamela, where career finding essentials are covered.  For some, the seminars on LinkedIn, resume building and cover letter writing will be recap, but there is definite value in making sure that everyone that has a one-on-one meeting with Pamela, so she doesn’t have to individually bring people up to speed.  More than anything, according to Pamela, these one-on-one meetings are to connect a face to a skill-set, so that when she sees a job posting (and she does see quite a few postings), she has people in mind to whom she can directly pass the job posting to qualified students.  To give you an idea of just how effective this is: I met with Pamela earlier this week.  We had a nice chat about my career options, and made some tweaks to my resume, but most surprising was as I was leaving, Pamela had actually found a job that she thought was a fit for me.  Those are pretty quick results, if you ask me.  This leads me to the next great resource at PSU: an active and interested network.

There are a lot of well-connected individuals that are both teachers and administrators in the School of Business that are also very interested in helping students build their professional network.  These individuals can help connect you with people in the professional field you are interested, as it is likely that they know someone (or someone who knows someone).  That’s also part of the benefit of being a grad student: the informational interview.  This is a great way to meet with professionals, pick their brains, and get your name out there.  It’s never too early to start (I might recommend starting as early as pre-MIM, when you have more time on your hands), but the opportunity diminishes once you can no longer claim to be a grad student, and you again become just another person looking for a job.

Some people that would be good to network with (the earlier the better!):

Cliff Allen: the academic director of the MIM program.  Bringing his experience in the supply chain field, Cliff has lots of connections and a knack for identifying opportunity.

Scott Marshall: Associate Dean for Graduate Programs, and previous director of the MIM program.  MIM students will meet Scott (at the very latest) in the Winter term, for their Sustainability course.  Scott knows professionals all over town and abroad, and finds the time to pass opportunities that come his way to individuals that he can see might be qualified.

Lee Buddress: professor of supply chain and logistics, and all around student-career-builder-guru, Lee sees a lot of job postings – many of them are sent directly to him by businesses, which he then passes along to an email list.  MIMers first meet Lee in the Winter with the Operations course.  If you’re interested in supply chain, you’d be doing yourself a disservice to not know Lee Buddress.

This is only a very short list of people that are good to know to help network – there are many more.  The key is: leverage your position as a graduate student (and a MIM, no less), to make meaningful connections – get to know people, and let them get to know who you are, and what you want to do.  Hopefully this has been some help – please share your own experiences or tips on networking (in grad school or otherwise).  Happy networking!

-パトリック

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Filed under Alumni, Careers, Common Questions, Networking, Patrick's Entries, Student Life

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