Infinite apologies for the radio silence that has been this blog since December. After a long winter break at home and a crazy past few months finishing my senior thesis (turned in last week!) and finalizing post-grad plans, I’m happy to say much of my time has freed up and I’ll be making a more permanent return to this blog.
I’m thrilled to announce that I’ll be moving to New York City after graduation to complete a public relations post-grad development program at a communications firm. After an incredible few months in New York last summer (when this blog was born!), I’m so excited to be able to return to the city and chronicle my post-grad NYC life here.
That being said, I wanted to address the fact that the hunt for post-graduate opportunities for me was definitely stressful. After a lot of introspection and weighing options, I accepted a position in which I’ll be able to grow professionally and be challenged every day, and I feel grateful to have connected with an agency that’s willing to invest in me as a young professional fresh out of college.
I know a ton of college students are seeking job or summer internship opportunities now, so I wanted to share a bit about how I found this agency and connected with employees through one of the most helpful job-hunting tools: informational interviews. Whether you’re looking for a specific opportunity or simply interested in expanding your professional network, scheduling an informational interview to learn about someone’s position, professional background, or day-to-day work life is extremely helpful and a great way to connect with professionals you admire. Here are my top informational interview tips:
1. Tap into your existing network.
I found the best way to connect with employees at companies and agencies I admire were through my university’s alumni network. You never know how you could be connected to someone who works at your dream company, so reach out to your school’s professional development center, your family, your friends, past employers, etc. Getting to know someone through a mutual connection is much easier than sending a cold email.
2. Be respectful of time.
When you reach out to a contact and ask for 30 minutes of his/her time, make it easier for them to fit you into his/her schedule by providing your availability over the next couple of weeks. The less work he/she has to do to find a time that works, the better!
3. Prepare good questions.
When getting ready for a phone or Skype informational interview, be sure to research your connection on LinkedIn and on his/her company website, if possible. Knowing a little bit about someone’s position and background will help you tailor your questions to individual professional experiences.
4. Don’t forget to show your thanks.
My most important tip is that you ensure you send a well-written thank you note (email or handwritten) after an informational interview. It’s polite and will let your contact know his/her time was appreciated!
Good luck, and happy networking 🙂