Archive for the ‘Alumni relations’ category

What’s Next After The Career Fair?

September 7, 2010

So what now?  You’ve probably met representatives from several companies and collected their business cards and company brochures. Instead of storing these items in the bottom of a drawer, capitalize on your recent career fair experience now!

Thank your contacts

First, write a brief letter or note and send it to each person with whom you spoke. Emails can get lost as junk mail, so send your message in snail mail.

Start off by thanking him/her for the information about the company and then ask if you can come in for an informational interview to learn more about the industry. At this point, you aren’t asking for an internship or a job; instead you simply want to develop a professional relationship with the company.

Do some research

Another follow-up technique would involve writing a paper on that company or on the industry for a specific class assignment. You would describe your project to the company representative and ask if you could visit the company to interview him/her for your paper with the offer to show him/her the finished project.

After you have done an informational interview or have completed your paper, stay in touch with your company contact by sending  holiday cards or your updated resume for the company files. If you see any news items that reflect positively on the company, you could send a note, marking the event and demonstrating your interest.

Networking after the career fair

Your follow-up plan should include networking. You could begin by visiting the school career center to find out what the staff can tell you about the company. Do the counselors work with a specific person in the firm? You could also check into the alumni office to find out if any alumni are employed at that company and could introduce you to the appropriate personnel. And don’t forget to ask your major professors for company contacts to help build your network, too.

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Q. Can alumni from my school help me get an internship?

March 30, 2010

A. Absolutely! Alumni can certainly be most helpful to you. They are an excellent source of networking for your future. Here’s how to capitalize on those relationships: 

  1. Research internships on internships.com to find ones that interest you. Go on those company websites and research the information, especially biographical material on officers, management team, or board of directors, to see if they are graduates of your school. You can also check your school alumni database to see if anyone works at the organization.
  2. Google any likely prospects to find out more about them. There may be press releases or business reports that will give you information about their education. Look around your campus to check out the names of buildings or locate plaques that list alumni donors or companies that would be possible internship sites.
  3. Talk to the counselors at your campus career center. They may be able to help you find the right contact at the internship of your choice. Career centers often host career fairs or lectures that involve alumni and their companies. Most alumni give precedence to undergraduates of their alma maters.
  4. Visit your alumni relations office on campus and pick up as many alumni publications as possible. Most alumni relations departments publish quarterly news magazines with listings of the latest career achievements of graduates. Review the listings to see if any graduates work for the companies you’ve identified as your target internship sites.
  5. Volunteer to work at an alumni event. Most universities hold numerous alumni events, such as Homecoming Weekend or reunions for different schools in the university. Undergraduates are always needed to lead tours or register alumni, which will give you access to their company affiliations. You’ll have the chance to meet alumni in person and follow up with your application for an internship.
  6. Apply for an internship in the alumni relations department, which will allow you to find out more about where alumni work. When you’re ready for a second internship, you’ll know which alum could help you get that internship. If you belong to any campus organizations, find out if any previous members are now alumni who work at companies of interest. Then network!
  7. Find out where the alumni from your department work. You may want to ask your professors to make the initial contact for you. Also, your professors may be connected to one of the companies that has a listing on internships.com through their consulting or other activities. Your professors can be a great help in getting you the internships that you want.