Guest blogger: Molly Movahed (C’15)
In its 225 years since its founding, Georgetown University has educated and fostered a network of alumni, who can be found in almost every field and industry out there today. Joining Hoya Gateway introduced me to a way to connect with these successful alumni. The hardest part of using Hoya Gateway is clearing some space in your busy schedule, between all the club meetings in ICC, midterm study in Lau, and a meal or two in Leo’s, to have a meeting, but it will definitely be worth your time!
Step 1: Make a profile
Here is your opportunity to really showcase your skills and experiences. This was the time, where I really sat down and thought about possible industries and fields, and I narrowed it down to my top three. Don’t forget to add a picture and a quick bio about yourself to complete your profile!
Step 2: Search through alumni in your area
Luckily, after making a profile, we make it easier for you and give you the opportunity to sort alumni, based on compatibility match of your profile and the alumni’s profile.
For my first meeting, I spent over an hour, combing through profiles until I narrowed it down to a few people. Similarly to many college students, I had no idea what type of industry or field I wanted to work in after college. I chose to meet with Aldrinana Leung (C’07), a Presidential Management Fellow at the Global Partnership Initiative at the U.S. Department of State. I chose Aldrinana because I wanted to learn more about her fellowship and her career path at that point.
Step 3: Request a meeting
In this step, you first choose from an informational meeting, resume review, and a mock interview. In choosing an informational meeting with Aldrinana, I had an opportunity to gain insight on a career path that I knew little about and had not considered at that point. Informational meetings are a great way to learn about careers and alum’s experiences, while resume review and mock interviews are better done with alumni in the same industry that you hope to pursue. Most people assume that the informational interview must be structured, but it’s the best way to have casual, career-focused conversation.
Step 4: Prepare for meeting
After picking a time and place for your meeting, make sure to do some research on the alumni and think of some good questions. Unlike most interviews you have encountered, you will be the one conducting the interview. Before I met with Aldrinana, I spent some time looking at her Hoya Gateway profile, and I even did a little research on her fellowship and the U.S. Department of State. In addition, make sure you know how to work the metro or bus system before you venture out to your meeting. You want to make sure you are always on a few minutes early to a meeting.
Step 5: Enjoy your meeting
I fortunately had the chance to meet with Aldrinana at the U.S. Department of State, where she showed me around the building and offices. In the informational meeting, I had the ability to ask all of my questions and really learn about her path after Georgetown that brought her to the U.S. Department of State. She spent a couple years after Georgetown travelling around the world with Semester at Sea and working in Hong Kong with the Clinton Global Initiative. All of these experiences brought her to working at the U.S. Department of State. After a meeting of around an hour, I had truly learned a lot about Aldrinana and jobs at the State Department.
Step 6: Follow-up with a thank you.
In the hours after your meeting, be sure to follow up with a thank you note or email. I would even make sure to add a personal touch in your thank you note. After these steps, you have successfully completed your first meeting. Congratulations on having a first great meeting!
Step 7: Repeat steps 2-6.
I always make sure to check Hoya Gateway weekly to see all the new alumni in my area and fields of interest. In addition, Hoya Gateway is constantly looking into expanding into different cities and industries. Don’t forget that breaks are a perfect time to connect with alumni in your area!
Whether you are using Hoya Gateway to find possible career paths or to learn from an alumni in your already chosen career path, Hoya Gateway is sure to provide you with an opportunity to network with the prestigious alumni that walked through the same gates as you!