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Networking may sound daunting, but it’s really about building authentic connections with others.
Who is already in your network?
- Faculty and your academic department: They keep in touch with alumni and likely know many of the significant players/organizations in their field.
- Coworkers and supervisors: They have specific knowledge about you.
- Friends and classmates: Especially those who have previously done internships. A referral/recommendation by them can be very helpful.
- Members of community and professional organizations: Attend seminars and conferences and talk to the people you meet about your plans.
- Family and family friends: Don’t be shy, they likely have great contacts who will be eager to help a motivated young college student get ahead!
- Social media connections: Don’t forget about those that you’ve never met in person but still know you well.
Macalester alumni are your greatest resource
Here’s how you can search for the alumni information you need.
- MacDirect, the Online Alumni Directory. You can search MacDirect for alumni based on their major, location, employer, occupation, job title, industry and more. Alumni with the Career Helper icon are especially interested in having career conversations with students.
- LinkedIn. You can search Macalester alumni on LinkedIn to see their connections, work history and more. Read our LinkedIn Quick Start Guide (gdoc) to get started.
- Alumni Search Request. Not finding what you need using MacDirect or LinkedIn? Request a curated list of alumni who match your selection criteria. Using the Alumni Information Request Form, you can request a list by major, geographic location, graduate school, organization or by occupation. (Please note that data obtained from an Alumni Search Request should only be used for seeking career advice and is subject to the same expectations, terms, and conditions as data obtained through MacDirect.)
Informational interviews help you gather background on your field of interest and gain additional contacts. It sets the foundation for your contact to watch for opportunities for you. You never ask for a job in an informational interview.
Refer to our Informational Interviewing Quick Start Guide (gdoc) to find out what you should do before, during, and after your meeting and examples of the types of questions you can ask.