Three areas of networking are highlighted below, LinkedIn, professional organizations/student organizations, and professional conferences.


  • This site can connect you to ISU students, company recruiters, and you have the option to follow companies, which allows you to see their products and what they are highlighting as benefits to working at their company. The posts they choose to share also reflect the values, mission, and goals of the company. Click here for a short introduction video to LinkedIn.
  • Companies also post internship and full-time job opportunities.
  • Some companies post more than others do, but you are connected and one connections can lead to others.
  • As you develop your profile think quality over quantity when making connections on LinkedIn. This article talks more about building your connections. A quick online search will bring up a variety of articles on connecting on LinkedIn.

Examples of companies on LinkedIn:
Microsoft, Google, Amazon, Samsung Electronics, Pearson, Emerson, Forbes, Danfoss, Cummins, Rockwell Collins, Forbes, FM Global, Mortenson, CCC: Compressor Controls Corporation (Des Moines, IA), BUNN (Springfield, Illinois), Feed Energy Company (Pleasant Hill, IA), Cemen Tech Inc (Indianola, IA), Clysar, LLC (Clinton, IA)

Professional Organizations and Student Organizations

  • The College of Engineering has over 100 student organizations. These are great ways to connect with other students in the college or your specific major. I have spoken with many students who participant in organizations sponsored by their department and they mention numerous company visits and networking events held.
  • The engineering organization search is here with multiple pages.
  • Do not wait to get involved! Your resume will reflect if you made a rush at the end of your college career to “get involved.” Longevity and varying levels of leadership within the organizations are helpful.
  • Find organizations you are passionate about, if an employer ask you about why you joined a group telling them, “others said I should” is not a productive and engaged response.
  • There are professional organizations with student chapters that function just like a student organization. There are also discounted membership fees for students! Three popular student chapters international students are involved with,

Professional Conferences

  • All of the above organizations have national conferences, which bring students, faculty, professionals in the field, and employers together to network.
  • The above student chapters and other departmental organizations take delegations of students to conference (registration fees apply).
  • SHPE has regional leadership conference available as well. These are smaller, shorter, and geographically closer conferences.
  • Most professional conference always offer a student discount on registration.
  • Remember you do not have to travel to these alone; there are student organizations that travel to these together as a group.

Additional Online Resources


  • Provides Company Reviews, Interview Sample Questions, and Job Salaries

My Visa Jobs

  • Provides list of U.S. Companies currently sponsoring H1B (Work Authorization) Visas

International-friendly companies

Below are lists of employers where international students have been successful at finding internships and full-time positions. These lists are not exhaustive, but can be used as a starting point when looking for companies that are willing to hire international students.

Being able to communicate and synergize with teammates and people in the company is the most valuable skill in any jobs. Technical skills can be picked up later on the job so that isn’t something that should hold anyone back.

Don’t forget that when you approach a person during the career fair, they are still a person (like yourself), so don’t be nervous and just have a normal conversation. Be honest and make a good impression. Making a good impression can help a lot in making up for the lack of experience on your resume.

To prepared for the career fair, do some background research on the company. Then talk to them about why you are interested in their company.

Russell Tan and Eric Chuah (Iowa State University College of Engineering Alumni)