CAPD is here to help, online and in-person Recruiting Questions: Hiremit@mit.edu | General Questions: capd@mit.edu | MIT Covid Response Questions: now.mit.edu

Network & conduct informational interviews

Networking is the process of discovering and making use of connections between people. These network connections can be as informal as talking to your family and friends, or as formal as attending a career event with prospective employers. Networking is useful for gathering information about a certain industry, organization, career path, or skill. Networking is about building relationships with people who can provide information and advice, and may lead to future opportunities. One great networking resource is the MIT Alumni Advisor Hub, an online platform to connect with alumni for career conversations and informational interviews.

How to Network

Identify Your Networks. Making a list of people you know, will help you to realize you may already have a strong foundation for your network.

  • School
  • Work/Internships
  • Family/Friends
  • Activities/Hobbies
  • Other

Expand Your List. Identify others you have met inside and outside MIT, and methods for how to meet new people who may have similar interests or expertise. Below are some events/opportunities to do so:

At MIT Outside MIT
Company presentations Professional associations/conferences
Career Fairs Local/regional career fairs and events
MIT Alumni Advisors Hub Community groups
Residence hall / living groups Online groups: LinkedIn, Facebook
Student groups Industry meetups

Assess Your Goals. What are you hoping to get out of your networking experience? Understanding your intentions can help you clarify who would be most beneficial to connect with.

Create Your Elevator Pitch. Develop a 30-second script you can use to introduce yourself to people. Practice it until you’re comfortable because you will need to use it at a moment’s notice. You may want several versions to use depending on the audience.

Prepare. Prepare for networking opportunities like you would a job interview: do research in advance on the person, company and/or industry, and show up dressed to impress with a list of questions to ask. You may even decide to practice answering some basic interview questions so you feel more confident.

Make Contact. An informational interview is a meeting where you ask for information and advice rather than employment. The job seeker gathers information on the field, finds employment leads, and expands his or her professional network. Learn more about informational interviews in the CAPD Career Development Handbook.

Follow Up. Be sure to follow up with an email or letter thanking the person for their time. This professional courtesy goes a long way.

Reflect. Keep networking notes. Keep track of who you speak with and when, and set reminders to follow up if you want to nurture the relationship.

Repeat. Try to end informational interviews with names of more contacts. The more you network, the more you learn and the more opportunities you can create. Building genuine relationships through networking is a lifelong practice, so master your techniques and go explore.

Sidebar

Morgan Stanley’s Student Ambassador Virtual Series

First and second year undergraduate students are invited to connect with Morgan Stanley through their upcoming “Pointers from Peers” Student Ambassador Virtual Series!

Hear from peers who recently interned with Morgan Stanley to gain insight into their Summer Analyst Programs, …

By Kendel Jester
Kendel Jester Career Advisor Kendel Jester
Read more »

Goldman Sachs: Explore Career Opportunities in Control, Finance, & Operating

Goldman Sachs invites you to attend our Exploring the Control, Finance, and Operating Functions of GS series! The goal of this series is to demystify how Control, Finance, and Operating divisions contribute to the success of Goldman Sachs as well …

By Kendel Jester
Kendel Jester Career Advisor Kendel Jester
Read more »

Finding jobs in 2021: CAPD’s guide to the current state of recruiting

After the last eighteen months, it comes as no surprise that the recruiting landscape has seen a major shift to virtual recruiting  and an emphasis on improving company culture and inclusivity. However, there’s plenty about fall 2021’s recruiting cycle …

By Lydia Huth
Lydia Huth Communications Specialist Lydia Huth
Read more »

47 LinkedIn Groups closely affiliated with the Blockchain Industry Group

The Blockchain Industry Group (BIG) is dedicated to the advancement and adoption of blockchain technologies through the development and promotion of blockchain standards, education, certifications and collaboration. We will accomplish our mission through a close collaboration with the diverse and …

Read more »

Lessons From the Aerospace Life: Networking is Important, Too

By Jordan Cox | Air & Space Magazine

The job: Lara works in the Boeing Research and Technology (BR&T) structures department at the company’s St. Louis facility, where he investigates materials and composites for building lighter and stronger aircraft. Lara has …

By Alexis Boyer
Alexis Boyer Assistant Director of Graduate Student Career Services Alexis Boyer
Read more »

Featured Resources

47 LinkedIn Groups closely affiliated with the Blockchain Industry Group

The Blockchain Industry Group (BIG) is dedicated to the advancement and adoption of blockchain technologies through the development and promotion …

Writing professional emails and letters is different than the casual emailing and texting done with friends. View the sample cover …

Whether you’re looking into programs, looking for networking tips, or just exploring, our video resources are always available to you. …

Here it is: your starter guide for developing the knowledge and skills you’ll need throughout your career. Compiled by our …