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Networking Tips Learned from a Penn State World Campus Career Counselor

If you’re like many online students, at some point you may find yourself contemplating what your next step should be after receiving your Penn State World Campus degree. The career counselors at Penn State World Campus are a great resource for helping you plan your next move.

Flazingo Photos via Flickr
Flazingo Photos via Flickr

One of the most important lessons I learned from my career counselor was to network!

What does that mean? Networking is interacting with other people to exchange information and develop contacts, especially to further one’s career. My counselor suggested a few networking resources that could help me in my current job search. Following are some key points from that meeting, which might also be helpful for you.

Nittany Lion Career Network

The Nittany Lion Career Network, a helpful networking service offered by Penn State’s Career Services, benefits all Penn State students and alumni by offering services such as:

  • Job postings: Employers who are not conducting on-campus interviews — but still targeting Penn State students — will post employment opportunities for students in all academic colleges.
  • Leads/prospects: Sometimes employers don’t have current job openings, but they do have entry-level jobs. When these jobs become available, the companies typically need to hire right away.
  • Information sessions: Employers hold information sessions throughout the year. These sessions provide a chance for you to learn more about an employer, meet with recruiters, ask questions about various opportunities, and express your interest in current or future opportunities.
  • Career fairs: A variety of career fairs are held during the fall and spring semesters, some of which are offered online, accommodating Penn State World Campus students. These fairs give you the opportunity to meet with a number of recruiters to explore various opportunities and to build networking contacts.

LionLink

LionLink is a professional networking program that links Penn State students and alumni with alumni volunteer career coaches. Career coaches provide valuable information and advice on jobs and careers to career explorers, who are alumni or students looking for a job or seeking career-related information.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional network, can help you build your professional identity and stay in touch with colleagues and classmates. Check out the Penn State World Campus LinkedIn company page to connect with like-minded students, faculty, staff, and alumni. You might also find How to Network on LinkedIn helpful for creating a new profile or updating your existing presence on this social media platform.

Even if you are not anywhere near Penn State’s University Park campus, you still have all these resources available to you as a Penn State World Campus student. Reach out to one of our career counselors today to begin your networking and job search journey.

A career counselor will help you figure out what you would like to accomplish in your career and work with you to achieve those goals. My counselor helped determine exactly what I would like to do by asking me just the right questions, and by getting me to talk about my aspirations and goals. Speaking with a career counselor can help you:

  • build confidence in your career decisions
  • identify careers that are suited to your skill set and background
  • improve your self-marketing capabilities (résumé, cover letter, and interviewing assistance)
  • increase your self-awareness and connect that self-understanding to occupations and majors suitable for you

Learn more about career counseling and make an appointment to speak with someone who can help you with your next career move. I do recommend that you get started as soon as possible, in your first yea so you can build your education around your choices.