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I am an Indian and I will be starting as a Chemical Engineering Ph.D. student in the US this fall semester and I am looking for some tips regarding how I should start networking before I start my graduate studies.

  • Field? I know somethings that are relevent to some fields and not otherd – Lyndon White May 23 '18 at 15:52
  • Chemical Engineering – Kvothe May 23 '18 at 17:07
  • I don't think you can actually start networking until you are a student, but you can find out what kind of talks, symposia, and colloquia are scheduled to come up at your university which you could attend, even if they are not directly related to your studies. Especially with evening or lunchtime talks there is sometimes food provided after the talk deliberately to encourage networking ("symposium" is of course Greek for "intellectual drinking party"). – Calchas May 23 '18 at 19:30
  • A number of universities have set up structures for incoming students to start interacting with each other online over the summer prior to first semester. Some spring up spontaneously. See what you can find. // Read the faculty, post-doc and grad student online bios from your department. Read some of the faculty research program descriptions. Pick a couple of papers that interest you to read. Practice going to social events where you don't know anyone, and introduce yourself to people. Finally, learn to play volleyball and frisbee so you'll be ready to go at the welcome picnic. – aparente001 May 24 '18 at 1:56
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Professional networking is best done in person, therefore if you want to begin networking before you start your graduate studies your options will be limited. Check various social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, etc.) to see if any of the researchers/students at the school have social/networking groups set up. If they do, try joining/following those groups, introduce yourself as a new student and take it from there.

Additionally, check the university website to find the list of professors in the department. Usually these lists include their email address and a link to their research websites, or a list of their research interests and publications. Identify a couple researchers whose work interests you and skim a few of their most recent papers. Then, contact them, let them know you're an incoming student and you've read their work (mention a specific paper of theirs you liked) and ask if you could meet them to discuss their work when you arrive in September. That way, you can introduce yourself to several professors and make it easier to establish contact with them when you arrive.

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