The Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences

Professional networking

Networking - establishing and maintaining informal relationships with people who could help you get a job or enhance opportunities -  is one of the single most valuable skills you can have, no matter what career path you choose. More often than not, jobs are given based on personal referrals. In addition, networking may allow you to start collaborations or expose you to career paths you never knew existed! Even if establishing connections with people isn't something you do naturally, it is a skill that can be learned and refined. Check out these resources to do just that.



Campus resources:



Online resources:




  • Join the Penn State Huck Institutes Graduate Network on LinkedIn
  • Attend networking events at conferences
  • Start conversations with people you don't know at conferences (check out this article specifically!)
  • Create a LinkedIn account to develop your online professional presence and join groups 
  • Get business cards to hand out to people
  • Collect business cards from people you meet - write something on the back of the card to remind yourself later of who exactly the person is
  • Use Twitter to follow and connect with leaders in your field or scientists at other institutions
  • Set up a personal website and/or blog to post your CV and other information
  • Volunteer to help organize seminars/workshops at Penn State or with a professional association
  • Ask your adviser, mentors, or peers for connections or to introduce you to someone you'd like to add to your personal network
  • Join professional associations related to your field of research
  • Set up informational interviews with people in jobs or fields that interest you



The BRIDGE resources: