Finding Networking Contacts
Talking to people and learning from their experiences doesn’t have to be a formal process or one you practice only when job hunting. There are numerous resources available enabling you to pinpoint the people you’d like to contact.
- Wesleyan alumni and parents. Alumni and parents are an excellent source of information and you are guaranteed to have at least one thing in common: Wesleyan. This link creates a less stressful atmosphere in which to interview and therefore, a more informative opportunity. We recommend starting with younger alumni and then moving to more seasoned contacts as your questions and interests evolve.
- Professors. Even though many liberal arts professors have spent their entire working lives in an educational environment, they can still be a wealth of information about specific disciplines they have encountered through their research or outside interests. Faculty are also often a good resource for those considering attending graduate school.
- Friends, family, and acquaintances. Chat with people casually--on a plane or bus, while waiting in lines, at social gatherings, etc. Most people enjoy talking about the work they do. Curiosity can open a lot of doors.
- People you’ve heard about: lecturers, employers, prominent people in the community, etc.
- People in a position to know lots of other people/organizations: local newspaper editors, Chamber of Commerce staff, people in professional societies and associations, etc.
Clip or copy items pertaining to any area of interest (e.g., articles in newspapers, magazines, journals, etc.) especially articles describing people in the fields or in organizations that appeal to you. The Wesleyan University Magazine is an excellent source for this. Check the Plan Your Career Index for valuable sources and guides that supply basic career and job information as well as employer names, addresses, and contact sources. Don’t hesitate to ask one of the counselors for help if you can’t find what you are looking for. Write to organizations for brochures and pamphlets or visit their Web sites. Ask yourself what it is you want to know and then figure out who has an investment in knowing that sort of information.