Lesson 1, Topic 1
In Progress

Copy of Reaching Out | Building Connections

Pulling it All Together

Now let’s take a look at some examples to pull it all together. Think back to José’s situation. For one column of his Networking Map, he decided to write an email to his political science professor, Prof. Jackson. José has really enjoyed Prof. Jackson’s class this semester and knows that she has a law degree. José thinks that Prof. Jackson could be a helpful source of information for undergraduate opportunities for research and internships in law, as well as potentially connecting him to her colleagues who are still practicing lawyers. Here is an email José wrote to Prof. Jackson to ask about setting up a meeting with her.

Asking in person, or over the phone or an Internet conferencing tool, can also be effective. View the two videos below for short examples of effective ways of asking someone to meet with you, for your interview for the Connected Futures program, or for another reason related to your interests and goals.

Reaching out to someone you don’t know

Angela is reaching out to someone she’s never met before—a difficult task for some! She met with a career counselor, Ms. Brown, who gave her the contact information for a recent alumnus who went into her desired career, mental health counseling. Ms. Brown encouraged Angela to reach out to the alumnus, Jack Hayes, to get more information about what mental health counseling is like and potential graduate programs in the area.

Reaching out to an acquaintance

Rina is reaching out to her mom’s good friend, Mrs. Davis, about her job as a mental health counselor. Rina is around the same age as Mrs. Davis’s daughter, Olivia, and knows Mrs. Davis pretty well, although they haven’t spoken much since Rina left for college.

How’d they do?

Notice how Angela and Rina both used many of the tips for reaching out to someone within a networking context. They started off the calls with a brief summary of the relevant information for the call. For Angela, it was especially important to introduce herself and give a clear explanation for why she was calling. No matter how well you know the person on the call, it’s important to be polite and flexible when scheduling the meeting and to take responsibility for setting up the details (e.g., getting an address for the meeting location, and sending out video conference links). And remember to finish up the call with a reminder about how much you appreciate the other person’s time—this can go a long way, even if it seems obvious.

Tips for Setting Up Meetings

The Tips for Setting Up Meetings sheet — writing emails requesting a meeting with someone, as well as email templates — is accessible in your Materials Tab.