My NSBE Networking Success

By Daisy Agose


My NSBE Networking Success

People question the effectiveness of networking. Thoughts often arise, such as: 
Why should I collect a business card?

Daisy Agose turned NSBE networking opportunities into a job with ExxonMobil in her home country of Nigeria.

What is the point of attending conferences in my freshman or sophomore year? Why should I send a follow-up e-mail or place a phone call to someone who might not remember meeting me?

I graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in chemical engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago in May 2008. In my sophomore year of college, I attended the 2005 NSBE Annual Convention, in Boston. I was very optimistic. I had achieved good grades and maintained a positive mental attitude. I believed companies look for these qualities in their prospective employees. My specific goal was to secure an internship with an oil and gas, chemicals or pharmaceutical company. Accordingly, I researched companies with business in these fields at the Career Fair and sought to speak with their representatives. During these conversations, I got a clearer picture of what opportunities each company presented and where I could apply my knowledge. I interacted with as many professionals as possible, collected business cards, attended hospitality suites and company break-out sessions. But this was just a start; more important, I collected and saved information so I could follow-up.

I spoke with representatives of BP, Shell, Chevron Corporation and Exxon Mobil Corporation. I was particularly interested in ExxonMobil but was not able to secure an interview slot for that year. However, I maintained contact with the recruiting representatives throughout the next school year. At the next NSBE Annual Convention in 2006, in Pittsburgh, I stopped by the ExxonMobil Career Fair booth, and it did not seem as daunting as it had the previous year. I saw familiar faces. People remembered me from the year before, and I was more comfortable with highlighting my skills and the values I aspired to contribute to the company. I secured an interview slot that year and was offered an internship at the ExxonMobil Baton Rouge refinery, in the Operations Support group. I was offered a return internship at the ExxonMobil Baton Rouge refinery in 2007.

Given the experiences I had with ExxonMobil, I believed I could maximize my career potential with the company and that I was a good fit with the corporate culture, values and business ethics ExxonMobil espouses. Upon graduation, I chose to relocate to Nigeria, my home country, to secure employment with ExxonMobil. However, this was not an automatic process. I found I needed to continue to leverage the contacts I had made at the NSBE conventions and during my Baton Rouge experiences to be considered for employment with ExxonMobil in Nigeria. The selection process was very rigorous, but through my solid foundation of good grades, successful internship performances and the solid networking foundation I built and was able to rely on, I now work as a facilities engineer for the ExxonMobil Development Company in Nigeria.

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