Find a Job/Internship

Learn From Others: Networking and Informational Interviews

Networking is the process of discovering and utilizing connections between people. These network connections can be formal, informal, or both. For example, networking can be as informal as talking to your family and friends or as formal as attending a career event with prospective employers.

Networking is often based on gathering information. This could be information about a certain field, organization, career path, or developing knowledge about a skill. Networking can create lasting relationships, provide information and advice, and may even lead to a future internship or job opportunity.

Why Network?

Networking can help you find a job:

  • 80% of jobs are found through networking: ABC News
  • 94% of successful job hunters claimed networking made all the difference: Wall Street Journal
  • 63.4% of all workers use informal job-finding methods: U.S. Department of Labor

How to Network?

Identify your Networks:

Make a list of people you already know. Start networking with them.

School     
Work/Internships
Family/Friends
Activities/Hobbies
Other       
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Expand Your List

Identify others you have met inside and outside MIT.

MIT

Outside MIT

  • Professional associations/conferences
  • Local/regional career fairs and events
  • Community groups
  • Online groups such as LinkedIn, Doostang, Facebook, listservs, newsgroups
  • Clubs
  • Family parties
Prepare
  • Assess your goals; understand what you hope to find.
  • Develop a 30-second personal statement-

    Write brief script you can use to introduce yourself to people. Repeat it until you are comfortable because you will need to use it at a moment’s notice. You may want several versions to use depending on to the audience. Review sample

Make Contact/Informational Interview

An informational interview is a meeting where a job seeker asks for advice rather than employment. The job seeker gathers information on the field, finds employment leads, and expands his or her professional network. Basically, introduce yourself, ask questions, obtain referrals, and close.  Review sample questions.

Follow Up

Be sure to follow up with an email or letter thanking the person for his/her time.