Advice from Alumni after Engineering Networking Night

Our 17th Annual Engineering Student-Alumni Networking event was held on Thursday, February 17.  Again, this year, the event was virtual.  We had 86 alumni attend, and the 116 student participants got to practice their networking skills by asking questions and getting sage advice.

After the event, we always ask the alumni to send us their best advice for students.  Here is this year’s list.  We hear similar things each year which means students should take these to heart!


  • Network, network, network!!! – R. Matson
  • My advice would be to take advantage of the Tufts Alumni Network. When I was trying to figure out where I wanted to work and the kind of work I wanted to do, I would look up a company on LinkedIn and find a Tufts alumni there to set up an informational interview. These informal chats were really helpful to get a better idea of my options, the kind of work I might enjoy, and potentially get employee referrals for applications. In all cases, the Tufts alums were really open and friendly –K. Harrison
  • … contact Tufts alums at the company for insight, referrals, etc. The side door is always faster. – C. Gardner


  • Get out of your comfort zone and try something new – R Matson
  • Don’t try and figure out the exact trajectory of your career now.  Take risks, try new things, learn, work hard, forge meaningful connections and the pathway will emerge under your feet as you go” – M. Scanlon


  • Try out a variety of internships while at Tufts to find out what you like and importantly what fields you don’t like; identify and attend professional organization monthly meetings in the greater Boston area to develop your network and meet potential employers and get a lot of experience talking/presenting in front of your peers – better to learn how to do this well in college than in the workplace after you graduate. C.Hagger
  • Take advantage of internships or co-ops. Adds work experience to your resume, allows you to test the waters, and gets your foot in the door. – E. Heller


  • Pick the person you are working for over company or job.


  • Follow your Passion – M. Hermann
  • Pursue your passion and allow that passion to be visible to prospective employers.  Technical skills can be taught, but passion & enthusiasm cannot; employers will frequently choose the charismatic candidate and train them to meet the company’s technical needs. – R. Taranta


  • Under promise and over deliver. -W. Bordett
  • Tailor your resume for every job.  If you don’t have much in the way of work experience, emphasize a relevant project from school.  – E. Heller
  • Communicate with your stakeholders. There will come a time when you have to miss a deadline or a schedule. They need all the notice you can give them. -W. Bordett
  • Be humble and kind to everyone. -W. Bordett
  • Looking the part and looking engaged is really important. – K. Friend
  • If looking to specialize, a Masters probably makes sense.  If not sure and you can get a job, there’s nothing like work experience for the resume and to help test the waters.  Let the company you’re working for, pay for additional schooling.  Also, get advanced degrees under your belt as early as possible (life only gets busier). – E. Heller
  • Practice interviews continuously. Building narratives that show the traits you want to exhibit is hard. The only way to get better at is to practice over and over. C. Gardner
  • Get connected with the Tufts Career Center as soon as you can: they are invaluable for encouragement in your job search. Then often have job listings and provide resume help, mock interviews and networking opportunities. Good luck! – J. Burse (Note: we did not pay for this advertisement 😀)
By Robin Kahan
Robin Kahan Associate Director, Engineering Career Services