Networking with Alumni

 

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Networking is marketing. Marketing yourself, marketing your uniqueness, marketing what you stand for. – Christine Comaford-Lynch

 

Research has found that in today’s workforce, 60-80% of the people found their jobs through networking. This fact alone should motivate all job-hunters to start making and utilizing their connections – they could help you land a job!

There are over 32,000 Hope College alumni across United States and 80 countries. As a Hope College student you have the amazing opportunity to network and connect with a number of alumni who have different backgrounds, experiences and are very willing to help you.

Connecting with the alum is a great way to learn more about the real world. You may have the opportunity to speak to people who are working in the fields you are interested in, connect with people personally who may be a stepping stone towards a potential job after you graduate.

So how does one go about networking? Here are some useful tips from the Career Development Center’s website to help you get started:

  1. When you’re networking, always look for the next step in gaining information about your field. When casually networking, ask for an informational interview.
    Most networking begins through casual conversation. Strike up a conversation with the people you meet in your normal routine — you never know who may have an aunt or a brother or a colleague in your field.
  2. Remember to use the informational interview as an opportunity to gather information and seek advice, not to ask outright for an internship or employment opportunity. It is often appropriate, however, to ask the person you speak with for advice on ways you might pursue employment or internship opportunities in your field of interest and give specifics about your search.
  3. Before you jump into this valuable exercise, you will need to have a solid understanding of who you are (self-assessment) and a basic understanding of your fields of interest (career exploration) in order to answer questions from the professionals you meet.

 

Megan Fisher is who you want to talk to at the Career Development Center if you are interested in networking. We asked why she thinks networking with alumni is important and this is what she had to say:

I have 3 key points for why networking with alumni is important:

  1. The majority of jobs within companies are not posted. Networking helps open doors to new opportunities.
  2. Networking helps you get insight into a specific job, company and industry.
  3. Networking with alumni helps you get your foot into the door as you tackle the job interview process.

Now that you know the importance of networking and a few ways to go about it, you can book an appointment with Megan Fisher and get started.

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