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How to network with engineering professionals?
3

How to network with engineering professionals?

How to network with engineering professionals?

(OP)
I just relocated to Ontario and am working for a small engineering firm. I don't know many engineering professionals as well. Are there any effective ways to broaden my network and have meaningful communication? LinkedIn looks like a good resource but I rarely can have in-depth conversations with professionals online. Most of them don't even bother to reply. I have tried to send some invitations to them to discuss professional/career questions, few have replied to me.

RE: How to network with engineering professionals?

Do you work with other engineers? What events do they attend?

Seek out local chapters/organizations. In the US, we have National Society of Professional Engineers, American Society of Civil Engineers, etc. Their meetings were a good place for me to start. Volunteer to assist with their activities, serve as an officer, etc.

University engineering departments sometimes host seminars that can be a good place to get to know other engineers.

You can also try volunteering within the community. You will meet non-engineers that can provide priceless insight and may even lead to additional personal development opportunities.

I enjoy going to various events, and hope to again when we are able to meet in person after all this Covid mess.

RE: How to network with engineering professionals?

I'd start by letting everyone in your office know that you want to meet the supply and customer base. Reassure them that you're not trying to involve yourself in their projects or have any ulterior motives, just want to network to learn and improve future projects. I try to sit in on all sales meetings/calls and if nothing else can be arranged, will call or email to set up a time for a quick shop tour/handshake with local shops.

RE: How to network with engineering professionals?

Where in ontario are you located
I'm in ottawa and we have a get together with a few colleaulgues once a month.
P

RE: How to network with engineering professionals?

(OP)
I live in Toronto currently. Events and volunteering are indeed good ways to network. Due to the current pandemic, there are fewer physical events and volunteering opportunities. Online events are not quite helpful for networking. CWB1, our company is quite small, only several people. Has any of you sent invitations to strangers to meet or chat?

RE: How to network with engineering professionals?

ccpe,

Are you are a licensed professional engineer? The PEO is now just a licensing body. Their social and outreach organization is Ontario Society of Professional Engineers (OSPE).

If you are not qualified to be a professional engineer, you can look into Ontario Association of Certified Engineering Technicians and Technologists (OACETT).

There is professional stuff up on Meetup.com and on Eventbrite.

--
JHG

RE: How to network with engineering professionals?

(OP)
Thank you, drawoh. Very valuable information.

RE: How to network with engineering professionals?

(OP)
drawoh, unfortunately I am not a licensed professional engineer yet. I had worked in construction industry for many years. Just re-entered structural engineering field and started from the entry level several months ago.

RE: How to network with engineering professionals?

I'll just add to what's been mentioned already. Most people are not active on LinkedIn even if they have an account (likely too busy). In fact, most people don't even have LinkedIn accounts. Once you identified who works at a certain company, it's a better use of your time to email them with a few scheduled follow-ups.

RE: How to network with engineering professionals?

(OP)

Quote (stanigator)

I'll just add to what's been mentioned already. Most people are not active on LinkedIn even if they have an account (likely too busy). In fact, most people don't even have LinkedIn accounts. Once you identified who works at a certain company, it's a better use of your time to email them with a few scheduled follow-ups.
You can say that again. But it is very difficult to get their email addresses. Even some of my co-workers don't want to disclose their personal contact information. Do you have any tips to solve this kind of problem?

RE: How to network with engineering professionals?

Many companies' email address patterns are easy to guess, and you can use various tools to verify them. Be humble when you reach out.

RE: How to network with engineering professionals?

Fair warning... anyone who emails me by figuring out my company's email address pattern will be immediately relegated to the virtual round file. If I did not provide my email address directly to you, it's entirely too presumptuous to assume I want you contacting me through that channel. I can't count how many recruiters have been at the short end of the stick with that one, with equipment/component salesmen a close second.

Dan - Owner
http://www.Hi-TecDesigns.com

RE: How to network with engineering professionals?

Yeeea...no. If its not work related it doesnt belong in the work email. If I am feeling kind the first email simply gets trashed, the second gets the individual's employer on the supplier list for spam and potentially blacklisted from future business.

RE: How to network with engineering professionals?

(OP)

Quote (stanigator)

Many companies' email address patterns are easy to guess, and you can use various tools to verify them. Be humble when you reach out.
I believe it is a way to expand the network although not many people really want to reply to such emails. MacGyverS2000's mentioned this in his/her post as well. I have ever sent many such emails and got one response.

RE: How to network with engineering professionals?

OP:

Can you explain what you mean by “broaden my network and have meaningful communication” and be specific on what kind of communication you are talking about? I can certainly help in providing feed on your technical papers (if you are writing them), cover letter and resume for job and even help you prepare for an exam (like FE and PE). Let me know. Good luck!

RE: How to network with engineering professionals?

(OP)

Quote (Mech5656)

Can you explain what you mean by “broaden my network and have meaningful communication” and be specific on what kind of communication you are talking about? I can certainly help in providing feed on your technical papers (if you are writing them), cover letter and resume for job and even help you prepare for an exam (like FE and PE). Let me know. Good luck!
Thank you for asking questions. I mean that I want to connect to the professionals, whom I can regularly communicate with, to share industry insights, stories, trends, etc. For example, one of my friends told me that revit is very popular in many design firms. Then I studied Revit at a college and eventually it helped me land the current job. The helps mentioned in your post are bonus for me because not everybody is equipped with these skills. I definitely appreciate your kindness very much.

RE: How to network with engineering professionals?

How active are you with the American Society of Civil Engineers? Asides that, networking with the known engineering consultants (they may have events), and getting on the good graces of professors who do the gatekeeping, I can't think of anything else. Perhaps work with their vendors if you're really keen?

RE: How to network with engineering professionals?

(OP)

Quote (stanigator)

How active are you with the American Society of Civil Engineers? Asides that, networking with the known engineering consultants (they may have events), and getting on the good graces of professors who do the gatekeeping, I can't think of anything else. Perhaps work with their vendors if you're really keen?
I am not active with the American Society of Civil Engineers because I live in Canada. I prefer offline networking and believe it is more effective and can learn more through face-to-face meetings. But unfortunately, many events either have been canceled or moved online due to the pandemic. My network grows very slowly.

RE: How to network with engineering professionals?

There's not that many engineering consulting firms who would hire civil engineers anyway. So I would recommend checking out what events are available.
Also, check for events/workshops within your province's engineering accreditation board. Sometimes it could have good networking opportunities there.
It will likely be predominantly online going forward unless/until Covid-19 is brought under control.

RE: How to network with engineering professionals?

Visit a job site. You are bound to run into other engineering folks on the project. There are a plethora of non engineering folks you will run into that could increase your networking circle

RE: How to network with engineering professionals?

(OP)

Quote (stanigator)

There's not that many engineering consulting firms who would hire civil engineers anyway
I don't know about civil engineers or civil engineering. My company only use their grading plans or reports. Not all consulting firms need to hire civil engineers. But some specialized companies definitely need them. Most bigger projects need their plans or reports to complete their designs.

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