Networking is a method of applied research, collecting information from individuals who are most likely delighted to share their knowledge and experiences, and offer advice if they have the time. It's actually quite rare for someone to be anything but flattered to be asked to do this.
Networking is not just researching career interests by meeting and talking with contacts. It's also building from one contact to another (and another), and maintaining relationships with them all throughout your career.
How to Network using Informational Interviews
When starting to explore a particular field of interest, or when seeking more in-depth advice and information, informational interviews are the way to learn more about an industry from professionals in that field. View it as research. As you meet or talk to people in an industry or field in which you may hope to work, you have a chance to learn from "those on the inside" about current market issues and trends, both industry-wide and in a particular organization.
When reaching out to any contact, let them know that you hope to gain career information and advice (not help finding a job)!
Use our Networking Guide to learn how to research jobs and benefit from the experience and advice of those working in industries you are interested in.
Students and alumni may connect for networking and career related discussion.
Fords Alumni Directory
Students may use the alumni directory to seek information and advice on career paths or for researching job opportunities.
Fords Alumni Directory
By selecting "I Agree" and continuing to the fords.haverford.edu alumni site, I signify that I am aware of and agree to the following usage policies:
- I will use the Fords directory to seek information and advice on career paths or researching job opportunities. I will NOT ask for a job or help getting a job at their organization. The alumni on Fords are offering career advice, it is not a job board nor a place for solicitations.
- If an alum emails a response to my initial request for help, I am expected to follow up. I will not ignore the response, even if I am busy.
- Appointments with potential contacts should be made 2 or 3 weeks in advance. I will be flexible and have a variety of times I can be available. If I am not able to meet with the individual in person, I will try to schedule a convenient time to speak on the phone. Many advisors are also happy to offer advice via e-mail.
- I will arrive on time for appointments. If I know I will be late, I will call and let the individual know. Under no circumstances will I ""no show," even for a phone appointment.
- I will send a thank you note within 24 hours following the informational interview. This can be either via email or hand written, but most people greatly appreciate a hand written note.
- Haverford College reserves the right to withdraw access to the directory if reports are received from alumni mentors that you have misused the directory or acted irresponsibly.