Undergraduate Blog / Career Development

Aaditya’s Advice: Networking and the 10 before 10

This is part 1 in a series of job search strategies contributed by recent alum Aaditya Chowdhry ’16. Aaditya was a Finance and Economics concentrator and now works at Bank of America Merrill Lynch in New York.  Stay tuned for more tips!

One of the most important (and time consuming) parts of my entire process was networking. My strategy was simple. First, I used the Babson Alumni database to find alumni in firms that I wanted to work at and compiled a list of about 300 potential alumni onto a spreadsheet. Next, I would wake up a little bit earlier everyday and send 10 emails before 10 am. I liked sending 10 emails because it would not be overwhelming to respond to if a lot of people responded on the same day and it was easy to keep track of. I liked this timing because it didn’t require me to wake up too early and people would normally be at their desks during that time and not out to lunch or about to go home. This way, the probability of them responding (and responding faster) would be higher. I started doing this on the first day of my junior year and the rest of my year was very hectic because I constantly had to work around the person’s schedule that I was reaching out to. After every conversation, I would make a note in my spreadsheet so I could make a comment about it in my next conversation with the person to jog the his/her memory. Out of 300 people, I would say about half responded. Out of the half that responded, I actually only had a conversation with about 100. And out of these 100, only 30-40 were in the specific field that I wanted to venture into. And out of these people, only about 8-12 verbally said that they would try to push my resume through to HR or that they would recommend me or that they would help me in some way, so you shouldn’t get disheartened by a similar response rate.

When I first started having these informational interviews, my phone calls would feel awkward and I would find it difficult to carry the conversation sometimes but as time passed, this stopped being a problem and actually helped me hone “my story” because that is the first thing that I would say on each call. Finally, the other important part about reaching out to people is that simply having one conversation with a person may not be enough for him/her to distinguish you from the other 100 networking calls they get. The goal of the call is to leave a lasting impression and for the person at the other end of the line to remember your name, and possibly ask for your resume. A few weeks or a month after your call, reach out to them again just to give them an update so that they remember who you are. Don’t do this too often or it may come off as annoying.

Want to try Aaditya’s strategy? Take a look at the Alumni database or LinkedIn University pages then meet with an advisor in CCD.