This blog was written by Peer Career Ambassador Michael Horbowy ’18.
With summer break practically here, everyone is looking forward to having fun and beginning their internships. However, if you’re not in the office all day and you get more of a tan than your doctor approves, you get tired of catching up with friends and family, and are beginning to get bored with your extra free time, you need to start meeting with professionals and learning more about career paths.
If you are working, the best place to start is at the company. You have an excellent opportunity as an intern because everyone wants to help students, and working for the same firm makes it easier to meet and find common ground. One way to begin is by creating a good LinkedIn account. Next, sort through Alumni in your company. After speaking with them, ask them who else they suggest you speak with. You’ll talk with people in various roles within the firm and at different points in the careers. This gives a great prospective on the company and potential career paths.
If you are not working, and in addition to the above for those who are, begin networking through friends and family. They will be more than happy to speak to you about anything and will honestly answer your questions about their work, their specific company, and their industry. They can also refer you to others in the company if you’d like to hear more about another function.
And if all else fails, there’s always good old LinkedIn. Just filter the Babson alumni by location and start reaching out. If their contact information isn’t on their page, look them up in the alumni database before sending a message via LinkedIn. Most people check their e-mails far more frequently than their LinkedIn messages, but this will work as a last resort.
One of the most important aspects of networking is talking to people in various industries. This will give you great insight into the business world as a whole, help you decide the career path you want to take, and will provide you with a broad spectrum of contacts in case you decide to switch industries later in your career.
If you want to get started but don’t know how to carry out an informational interview, check out this post by Shun Ping. Have a great summer, and don’t forget to network!