Alumni Connections & Networking
Networking involves speaking with alumni and/or professionals in your fields of interest in order to explore careers and gather information. It is not about asking a person for a job or internship and it is not one-sided. You ask for assistance but can also provide assistance to others. Networking is merely relationship building and maintenance.
Who Is In My Network?
What Resources Can I Use?
Search for alumni who have expressed interest in helping with informational interviews, job shadows, mentorship, and more
Identify alumni on myNotreDame, the University’s Alumni Association database, then reach out and connect with the ND community regarding your career development
Build and engage your network with 500+ million professionals from around the world
Explore contacts and events occurring in a particular geographic region in order to build your network
How Should I Reach Out?
Reaching out initially through email is a great way to get the conversation started with an alumni. Use the example below as a guide to help craft your message.
Dear Mr./Ms. Alum,
I am a junior marketing major at Notre Dame who is interested in discovering more about the public relations field. I found your contact information through the Alumni Association directory, myNotreDame. (Add one or more lines highlighting why you have interest in the field)
Would you have time for a 15-minute phone call to discuss public relations as a possible career path? I would like to ask you about your experience in the industry, your career path, and any advice you would have for me as I pursue this field of interest.
I would be free anytime over the lunch hour, Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings, Tuesday and Thursday afternoons, or in the evenings.
I’m sure you have many demands on your time so I thank you for your consideration. I look forward to hearing back from you.
Jsmith9@nd.edu | 574-123-4567
We Set Up a Meeting, Now What?
Prepare! Preparing for an informational interview allows you to be more confident, make a positive impression, and ensure you get your questions answered. It also allows you to respond to questions about yourself more effectively.
To prepare, you should:
- Identify what you want to get out of the meeting
- Research the professional and his/her company
- Research the industry
- Review your experiences, interests, and skills
- Practice your introduction
- Develop a list of questions
If the meeting will be in person, be sure to arrive a few minutes early and dress in formal or business casual attire (depending on the industry and venue). If the meeting will be virtual or over the phone, be sure to identify a quiet space you can use in advance that has a strong internet connection.
Leverage your network
Notre Dame alumni want to support you. All you have to do is start the conversation. We'll show you how.