February marks the beginning of
rabbit season, no duck season the job/internship search season, but these days, the search just isn’t enough. You might be asking yourself: do I have an effective, yet appropriate online presence? Are my resume and cover letter up to par? While these are some of the questions you should be asking yourself in the midst of finding a job; I would argue that there is an even more important question – do you know how to network?
Of course, that’s not to say that I’m an expert at networking myself but I know someone who is. Matthew Donahue ’14 is the poster child for the Career Center… literally! His official title this term is the Head Peer Career Advisor. Although you might also know him as the kid who started a Twin Society with the infamous Capron twins (click here for their meeting minutes), or that kid who walks Roth’s dog. We’ve decided to join forces. We understand that you must be busy, between classes, extracurriculars, and organizing that perfect weekend, so we’re here to help. Together with his musings and my writing, we’ve come up with the top four ways to utilize the Wesleyan network online so all you have to do is click away.
1. LinkedIn University: To access this awesome resource, login to your profile, scroll over “Network” on the toolbar at the top of the page and click “Find Alumni”. You will then arrive at Wesleyan’s University Page, at which point you will find this neato graphic search.
By clicking on the various subheadings, you are able to filter through students and alumni who live in your hometown, share the same major, and most importantly work at a company you might be interested in.
2. Wesconnect: Great. You found someone of interest that you would like to get in touch with, now you just need to find their contact information (namely zir email address). This can be achieved by searching the Wesconnect Directory, which can be found by clicking on the Alumni tab of the Wesleyan homepage. After creating a login, you’ll be able to access the nifty alumni creeper engine that can be found on the black toolbar towards the right hand side. Aside from locating folks you have already identified as your next networking targets and new best friends, you can search for alumni based on sports they played on campus, organizations they are associated with, and pretty much anything else you could imagine. To search for alumni on the go, check out Wesleyan’s Alumni Mobile Application (developed and managed by the awesome folks over at EverTrue, including our own Jesse Bardo ‘07).
3. WesSID – Student Internship Database: This (ugly, yet functional) Wesleyan widget enables you to search a sampling of internships students have completed once upon a time, which is a great way to explore different industries and companies of interest. It is also highly encouraged that upon finding a listing of interest, that you reach out to your fellow Weskid to find out more information about their experience. If you are uncertain whether a certain opportunity is still available, check out the company’s website or send the company contact an email, if listed. Want to share your internship experience? Find out how below.
Visit your ePortfolio > Career Resources > WesSID > Entry Form
The Wesleyan Student Internship Database (WesSID) is home to
700 reviews of summer internship experiences written exclusively
by Wesleyan students for Wesleyan students. Share your internship
story and help Wesleyan underclassmen find great “Wesleyan-certified”
opportunities and avoid those not-so-great opportunities as well.
4. Career Center: This one might seem obvious, but it is definitely worth mentioning. The Career Center is a great place to connect with alumni. Aside from the fact that there are a couple of alumni who work at the center (shout out to John Driscoll ‘62, Camille McGadney ‘93, and Melanie Buford ‘10), the peer career advisors and career counselors are an excellent resource to help you identify alumni in your field of interest, draft emails and make connections. It’s also the place where you seek the wisdom of Matt in the flesh.
What Else? After identifying some alumni who are essentially you’re ideal future self… why not contact them? The best way to learn how to accomplish your goals is to talk to someone who’s achieved them already. Of course, it is important to keep your social decorum in check. Read on for email etiquette tips you ought to follow…
Content & Structure:
- Briefly introduce yourself (Name, Class Year, Why you are Writing)
- Keep messages brief and to the point (this isn’t a dissertation, it’s an email)
- Include an informative Subject line (Short. Descriptive. Don’t be mistaken for junk mail)
- Use a signature that contains contact information (for obvious reasons)
- Do NOT start the conversation by asking for a job or internship
- Don’t send the same exact email to everyone, particularly if they work as the same company
- If an alum doesn’t get back to you, wait at least a week before following up (use YesWare (i will insert the link) to help you keep track of forgotten emails)
TL;DR Learn how to network, it’s good for you.
What are you waiting for? Get networking. We hope you’ve learned something, but then again what do we know… we don’t have jobs (just yet). Be on the lookout for our next article…. “The Internship Search.”
~brought to you from the Google Docs of Matthew Donahue ’14 and daniphantom