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Networking & Alumni Connections

Networking is based on relationships that are cultivated and nurtured so that a mutual exchange of information, advice and support is given and received. Alumni connections are a valuable asset when networking; many Trinity graduates are willing to be a resource in career planning.

Networking Opportunities

Look out for the following opportunities to network. Be proactive and facilitate such opportunities whenever possible:

  • One-on-one Meetings: Engage in conversations through email, informal contacts, and formal appointments Conferences and Conventions
  •  Attend local, regional, and/or national events Career or Job Fairs: Discover job openings, business opportunities, and meet new people 
  • Academic/Training Settings: Develop relationships with classmates, instructors and guest speakers through classes, short-term seminars, lectures, and workshops
  • The Internet: Participate in one-to-one meetings, newsgroups, and seminars in web-site auditoriums
  •  Social/Recreational/Community Settings: Establish relationships with individuals at health clubs, social clubs, special interest groups, parties, and neighborhood events

Circles of Networks

Expand your networking circle to include people in the following areas of your life:

  • Personal Family, friends, neighbors and colleages; acquuaintances from social clubs/organizations, community groups, sports teams, and religious organizations
  • Work Coworkers, supervisors, and professional associations
  • Education Alumni (high school, college, graduate school), classmates, instructors, guest speakers, mentors, advisors and coaches
  • Multimedia Internet newsgroups, listservs, social networking sites; newspapers and magazines; radio and television

Misconceptions about Networking

  • A superficial connection or a brief encounter
  • Bothering, pestering, or using people
  • A contest to see who can collect the most contacts
  • A one-sided, one-shot deal

Do’s and Don’t with Networking

  • Do not hand out unsolicited resumes
  • Do not ask for a job or internship
  • Do not speak only with people you know
  • Do not over indulge in food or alcoholic beverages during networking event
  • Do dress to impress in business casual or professional
  • Do have a business card if possible
  • Do practice good social etiquette
  • Do introduce yourself when speaking to people
  • Do feel free to discuss common interests

Getting the Conversation Started

  • “Hi, my name is ________. I see [heard] that you are involved with corporation XyZ."
  • "I am interested in learning a little more about that company. What do you do there?”
  • “Hello, I’m _____. I see on your business card [name badge] that you are involved in computer science."
  • That is something I was considering pursuing myself.”
  • “Mr./Ms. ___________, my name is _________."
  • I saw your name on the guest speaker list. I would like to talk to you about how you got started in health care administration.”
  • “It looks like we share the same career interest according to _______."
  • My name is ____________ and I’m a student at Trinity majoring in biology."
  • Did you major in life sciences too? What do you do now?”
  • “Hi, I am _______. I see from your nametag that you work at ABCD."
  • Even though it looks like you are in a different division, do you know anyone in the ______ division out there?"

Questions to Ask

  • What is a typical day/week at work like for you?
  • What was your career path like?
  • Where do you see yourself in the next 5-10 years?
  • How did you get into this industry?
  • What frustrations/difficulties do you have in your job?
  • What degrees or training are necessary for this kind of work?
  • Could you recommend any journals or trade magazines that will assist me in understanding more about this occupation?
  • What professional association(s) do you belong to?  Is that something I could join now?
  • Where is the best place to look for a job in this field?
  • Is there a deficit of qualified personnel in any part of this industry?
  • Are you doing what you thought you’d be doing when you were hired?
  • What are some things you like to do in your position?
  • How mobile and flexible can you be in this field?
  • How secure are jobs in this profession?
  • If you were starting out again, what would you do differently?
  • What is the future potential for professional development and upward mobility?
  • Is working for this employer, or one like it, a good way to get into the field?
  • What advice do you give someone entering this field?
  • What are some of the most important factors that contribute to your success?
  • What skills/characteristics are most important for your kind of work?
  • Can you give me the name of someone who might provide me with additional information?

Alumni Connections

One of the most valuable benefits of being a Trinity student/graduate is the willingness of Trinity graduates to be a resource in career planning. The Alumni Career Network (ACN) can assist by suggesting contacts in your field of interest or assisting you to make inquiries about potential contacts.  ACN can also provide information that may help to facilitate career decision making.

 

Career Network Chairs

Most major cities in Texas and many cities where graduates are working have an individual designated to assist with career networking. This program is also part of the alumni Career Network.

Making Connections

Each year during the semester break networking programs are held in cities around Texas and around the nation. Making Connections allows Trinity students and alumni to meet and discuss career related issues. Watch the Career Services website for information about these highly recommended programs.

LinkedIn

Visit Trinity University's LinkedIn page, check out the Trinity Alumni Group and view jobs posted on LinkedIn.

Professional vs. Social Networking

Believe it or not, there is a difference between purely social networking (the kind that usually goes on on Facebook or Twitter) and networking for professional purposes. Your behavior on social networking sites (and online in general) may have a profound impact on career goals—a negative online persona may prevent someone from hiring you!

Professional networking always has a goal to move forward in your career. It is necessary to have a plan in place that includes career goals, a clear message to communicate those goals, a purpose for making any particular contact, and to ask the contact who else they recommend talking to. It is always necessary to write a thank you note, and usually to follow-up on various tasks that are suggested in the networking process.

Professional networking is a process, but worth the time it takes. An overwhelming number of hires (over 60%) come from either someone you know or someone you get to know through networking. So while spending time on the internet is helpful, remember to get out there and meet someone!