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What is Networking?

Many people stress about networking based on misconceptions of what it is.

What it is (or what it should be)

Having conversations

Focusing on helping others


Building relationships and developing advocates and mentors

Focused on learning

Personalized to your style

What it is not (or doesn't have to be)

Schmoozing or going to big events

Using people

Fake or slimey

Only having one conversation

Focused on getting a job


Networking can be informal (one alum started talking in line with someone at Starbucks and it turned out that he did exactly what she was interested in) or it can be a formal process where you find people, reach out to request and then have informational interviews. We use the term Informational interview a lot in this section and it’s worth drawing the distinction between it and a job interview.

Informational Interview

  • Goal is for you to learn

  • YOU drive the meeting

  • YOU mostly ask the questions

Interview for a Job

  • Goal is to assess you

  • Interviewer drives the meeting

  • Interviewer mostly asks the questions

What is covered in this section

How to:

  • Find people for informational interviews

    • Find contact info & write outreach emails

    • Prepare for informational interviews

    • Follow up after informational interviews

  • Build relationships

  • Navigate networking events

  • Small talk

  • Talk on the phone

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