Networking as an engineer

You’ve heard the saying: “The friends you make today are what your children will call connections tomorrow.” Right? I totally agree with that. 

Do you remember the days of “My work will speak for itself.” Nope! The world is  a noisy place now. Shout about your work! Build in public, engineers! Let everyone see the amazing things you’re creating.

Networking can be defined as the act of building and maintaining relationships, connections, and alliances with others in your industry or profession to exchange resources and support.  Whether you’re an undergraduate or a graduate, networking is very important. 

Networking involves:

  1. Building relationships: Developing trust and mutual understanding with others.
  2. Exchanging information: Sharing knowledge, expertise, and resources.
  3. Collaborating: Working together on projects, initiatives or ventures.
  4. Supporting each other: Offering guidance, mentorship and encouragement. 
  5. Accessing opportunities: Identifying and pursuing new opportunities, such as job openings, partnerships or business deals. 

There are numerous ways in which you can build your network. You can build your network by:

  1. Attending seminars: One of the most valuable takeaways from any seminar is the new relationships and contacts made through networking. Be ready to market yourself. Get your elevator pitch ready always. An elevator pitch is a brief message that communicates who you are, what you’re looking for and how you can be of value to an industry. 

Here is an email template you can use as a guide:

“Good day [Name],

I hope this message finds you well. I was at the (Seminar/Event Name) on (Date) where you presented on (Topic). I was impressed by your insights and expertise in (Field/Industry).

As a recent graduate of (University Name) with a degree in (Field of Study), I have developed a strong passion for (Specific Area of Interest) during my industrial training at (Company Name). I have honed my skills in (Relevant Skills) and am now seeking an entry-level opportunity in this space.

Specifically, I am seeking advice on (Specific Question or Area of Interest, e.g., “breaking into the industry,” “building a professional network,” or “landing an entry-level role”). I would greatly appreciate any guidance or leads you might be able to offer.

Thank you in advance for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you.

Best regards,

(Your Name)”

  1. Having a social media presence: Do you know you can network with people via social media? Social media was once mostly just for fun, but not anymore. As the world gets more digitally connected, standing out as a prime candidate when you’re applying for a job is easier if you have an appealing online profile where you showcase your work experience. Do you know that some recruiters now admit to checking their candidates’ social media before hiring? One of the most important social media you need to join as an undergraduate/Graduate is LINKEDIN. LINKEDIN is the only platform which can help you clearly define all your skills and experience. It gives you an opportunity to connect and follow professionals. Do you need a guide on how to leverage the power of LinkedIn? Click on this link .

Here is a LinkedIn template you can use to send  message to a LinkedIn connection: 

“Hi [First Name],

I hope this message finds you well. My name is ______, and I came across your profile on LinkedIn. I was impressed by your experience and achievements in (Industry/Field), and I would love to seek your advice or explore potential opportunities.

I am (Your Current Role/Student) with (Number) years of experience in [Relevant Skills/Experience]. I am eager to learn and grow in my career, and I believe your insights would be invaluable.

Specifically, I would love to hear your thoughts on (Specific Question or Area of Interest). Additionally, if you are aware of any job openings or opportunities that might be a good fit for me, I would greatly appreciate your referral or guidance.

Thank you in advance for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you and potentially starting a meaningful conversation.

For Internship/Experience opportunity, you can use this LinkedIn template

“Hi [First Name]

I hope this message finds you well. My name is ________ and I came across your profile on LinkedIn. I was impressed by your experience and achievements in (Industry/Field), and I would love to explore potential opportunities. 

I am a (Role) skilled in _____ , I have been seeking an entry level role/ internship opportunity where I can learn from professionals and gain actual work experience. 

Unconventional as it may seem, can I get such an opportunity from your organization ? “

At Alo-Timeys Engineering Ltd, we know the importance of networking that is why we have created a community for graduate and undergraduate engineers from different institutions for them to connect with one another and share resources. If you haven’t joined the community, kindly click on this link . You can also connect with us on other platforms via this link

Remember, networking is about building genuine relationships and providing value to others, not just asking for favors or promoting yourself. By focusing on helping others and building meaningful connections, you can create a strong network that benefits everyone involved.

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Oluwagbemisola Olaniyan

Oluwagbemisola is the brain behind the "This Is Engineering" bootcamp. As the co-founder of Alo-Timeys Ltd, she is passionate about Engineering education in Nigeria and the impact of engineering in nation building.

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About Me

My name is Oluwagbemisola Olaniyan, co-founder of Alo-Timeys Ltd. I love to impact lives and transfer knowledge. You are welcome to connect with me on LinkedIn, I’ll be sure to respond.

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