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Connect With Your Contact

First, know your purpose. Be clear with yourself, and with them, about why a conversation with them will be helpful to you. How much do you already know? How can they help you fill in the gaps? 

  • What do you have in common? Are they a Spartan? Do you have a shared contact? Are you members of the same social organization or network?
  • Ask for what you’re looking for. Be realistic about schedules and time constraints—don’t ask for a meeting with less than two weeks’ notice or for more than 30–45 minutes of their time for an initial discussion. 
  • Asking to set up an informational interview or job shadow might happen face-to-face with someone you know or meet at an event—and that’s great. For others, starting with an e-mail request works well. Give your at least a week to respond and then follow up with a phone call if needed.
  • Be sure to hit all the main points. Explain who you are and how you found them and/or got their contact information, demonstrate that you’ve already done some research, and request a meeting.