When looking for people to network with, don’t forget young alumni! Because they have just recently transitioned from school to a professional career, they can offer you a fresh perspective on how to manage the sometimes tricky transition from college to work, as well as recommend effective strategies in finding your first professional job or internship. In addition, as recent professionals, they can give you feedback on what would make you a more successful candidate, give industry perspectives, and even hear about upcoming professional opportunities at their organization. But how to meet young alumni to connect with?
One convenient tool you can use to find BU alumni contacts is through the Career Advisory Network (CAN). Boston University’s Alumni Association offers this searchable database that you can access through their website and also through the BU Student Link under the “Work” tab section. The database has over 6,000 volunteer alumni from a wide-ranging list of industries, fields, companies and locations.
Because alumni in the Career Advisory network have all volunteered, they are already willing to help you learn more about career options that you may be considering.
Alumni in the Career Advisory Network can speak to you about how they got where they are and will be open to meeting you for an informational interview, job shadow meeting or offer you a mentoring experience. The database is simple to use as well!
Start with selecting your criteria (such as your major or occupation). You will get a list of alumni who match your search conditions including their email, so you can reach out to them.
In your email subject line, be descriptive regarding your focus such as “BU Sociology Student Interested in the Field of Marketing.” If they are in the Greater Boston area, try to arrange a face-to-face meeting if possible. In the body of the email, introduce yourself, mention you little bit about your background (including that you are a BU student), what career area you are interested in and why you are reaching out to this specific BU alum.
Remember, this database is for conducting informational interviews and career advise, not to ask directly for a position. Always remain professional in your communication and honor the preferences that the alum has set up in their CAN account.
Be sure to take advantage of all the BU alumni willing to support you in your career process.