Attending Penn State comes with many pros, but one of the best parts? The Penn State Alumni Association! Over 174,000 Penn State graduates take part in this program, making it one of the largest alumni associations in the world! No matter what company you apply to, you will most likely find a Penn State alum to back you up.
While it can feel a little overwhelming to contact alumni, Penn State offers many events to make it a little easier for students.
1. Bellisario College of Communications: Networking Tips for Early Career Professionals
This event is a webinar presented by Alumni Career Services to give students the opportunity to talk to alumni professionals. “I went to the networking tips event last year and it was honestly amazing. I met so many new people, they made me even more excited to start my career,” said Penn State junior Sarah Stachowski. This year, alumna Tracy McGilberry will share her best networking tips to young adults looking to start their careers in the communications industry.
2. College of Liberal Arts: Networking Etiquette Reception
Held at the HUB, this event is meant to teach liberal arts students the correct etiquette when meeting professionals. Liberal arts alumni go over the small yet important things like holding your glass, eating hors d’oeuvres and shaking hands. This single event is part of the Liberal Arts Career Week, which is a week-long program that provides students with professional and networking opportunities.
3. Eberly College of Science: Eberly Alumni Panel Discussion and Networking Event
Held by former Eberly students, this event is not only a networking experience, but a good guide to students who feel confused about where to go with their Penn State degree. At the previous panel discussion, Kristin Brancato, Donna Marron, Chris Stump, Matt Powell, Elaine Voce and Karen Weaver all shared their post college and early career experiences. These alumni currently work at Botaneco, Merk, Comcast, US Air Force, Avanos and Daiichi Sankyo, respectively.
4. Smeal College of Business: Impact Smeal Day
Impact Smeal Day offers multiple sessions and even more opportunities for business students to talk to alumni. “I went to Smeal Day freshman year. There were tons of guest speakers and you could talk to the companies if you wanted to,” said Penn State junior Emma Wurmstich. Considering the different circumstances this year, this event had a focus on finding a job during the pandemic. The Smeal alumni career services coaches explained the best way to remotely transition from college to the workforce.
5. College of Engineering: Aerospace Engineering Networking Reception
This reception took form as a virtual event this year via Brazen Careers. The Aerospace Engineering Networking Reception is open to all engineering undergraduate and graduate students looking for a job in aerospace engineering. Recruiters from several different companies have the opportunity to connect and talk to potential job prospects. Remember, no dining and dashing—virtually of course!
6. College of Information Sciences and Technology: Supporting Women in Engineering & IST: Soaring to New Heights
This upcoming event is targeted toward women in STEM. The Professional Association of Women Controllers explain air traffic control and network with female students who have an interest in that specialized field. The women of this association also give students tips on the best ways to launch their careers.
7. Schreyer’s Honors College: Society of Distinguished Alumni Mentoring
More than just a single event, this program allows honors students to pair up with distinguished alumni. These incredible alumni recipients received the highest award given by the university, and normally serve as leaders of their respective industry or academia. In other words, the PSU alumni nerds help the current nerds…I wish I was one of these nerds.
8. College Health and Human Development: Health and Human Development Alumni Mentoring Program
This program is a little different from the rest— HHD students don’t always just talk to alumni and form relationships with people in the workforce. “I found out about all of the different PA programs available to me. I talked to an upperclassman and she put me in contact with so many helpful alumni,” said Penn State junior Sofia Ardizzone. The Health and Human Development Alumni Mentoring Program also connects underclassmen with upperclassmen!
9. College of Earth and Mineral Sciences: EMS Mentoring Program
The EMS Mentoring Program is set up to help students before they know exactly what to do with their degree! People with EMS experience pair up with underclassmen to help them learn more about the different career paths, professional fields and educational options. If I was an EMS student, I think I would need much more than a single mentor to help me.
10. College of Nursing: Nursing Career Fair
This online career fair presents an opportunity for nursing students to network and interview with several different hospitals and medical companies. So far, 31 employers are attending the career fair! Some of these employers include Northwell Health, Allegheny Health Network, Children’s National Hospital and Lehigh Valley Health Network.