Undergraduate Blog / Career Development

Talking Turkey: Networking over Break

Talking Turkey: Networking over Break

Where will you be for Thanksgiving and Winter Break?  Thanksgiving is a perfect time to practice networking skills and work on finding that summer internship.  Plan ahead, and schedule at least one career conversation for each break.

Utilize our Alumni Network:

Many alumni feel a strong connection to their Alma Mater and may be willing to speak with you about their industry or career path and job function, however they are not just going to give you a job or internship because you are a Babson connection.  Some benefits to begin networking with Babson Alumni include building relationships in your industry of choice and gathering information and tips about the industry.  Remember, alumni have volunteered to serve as a resource.  Use them appropriately by making the building of a relationship your priority.  Use the Babson LinkedIn Page to search for Alumni.

Request an Informational Interview:  Check out Career Beam Resources

Most people, including alumnae, prefer that your initial contact with them be through email.  Conduct background research (i.e. review their LinkedIn profile) to understand their current position and previous work experience.    Also set some goals for your informational interview or networking opportunity – outline what you would like to learn or to gain from the correspondence with them beforehand.

Your initial email should be brief and contain the following information:

  • How you found them (Alumni Directory, referral from a Career Advisor, etc.).
  • A brief description about you that provides context to the reader about your background (i.e. graduation year, concentration)
  • Overview of why you are getting in touch and what you want from them. Think about what you can learn from your contact.  Some examples include learning more about their company; industry tips; professional organization networking ideas.
  • How you would like to gain that information (an in-person informational interview, a phone meeting – at their convenience).
  • Indicate how you will follow-up.
  • Schedule a time and place for an informational interview (at the alumni’s convenience).

The e-mail should not:

  • Ask for a job or internship or request they pass along your resume to Human Resources (HR)
  • Include your resume. They may request it or you can bring with you to the informational interview for their industry specific feedback on it then.

Follow Up:

It is important to follow up with alumni after your contact with them.  Send a thank you note e-mail within 24 hours of your meeting or conversation.  The Thank You note should include your gratitude for their time and advice and address any follow-up steps you are taking based on your conversation.

Additional follow-up is appropriate after you have taken their advice on something and have an outcome to report.  Examples of this include: contacting someone they recommended, joining a professional association, reading an article they suggested, etc.  At this time, it is appropriate to contact and update them.

It’s never too early to start your summer internship search. Be sure to utilize your network!