Recently, I’ve had quite a few conversations with students about Hoya Gateway meetings and the actual process of making a meeting request. Basically, I was on a quest to discover why there were students who created profiles on Hoya Gateway but had not yet made a meeting request with alumni.
The answers I received varied: “I’m pretty busy with my schedule/internship/etc” was a pretty popular answer, but what surprised me was the frequency with which I heard students say, “I haven’t made a meeting request because I don’t know what to say to that impressive/successful/intimidating alum”. This is my attempt to clear the air around this confusion and whatever doubt students might be feeling. First, alumni LOVE meeting with students. It’s a fact of life. They might even like meeting with students more than they like The Tombs. Seriously. What’s great about this program is that each and every alum in Hoya Gateway created their own profile. That means they each said, “Hell yeah, I will make myself available to meet with students and talk to them about my career path.” (Or something similar…)
Okay, now that we’ve cleared that up, let’s talk about how simple it is to make a meeting request. Step 1: Click the button that says “Request Meeting” in the top right corner of your page. Step 2: Write a message. Step 3: Sit back and wait to hear from them. (Hint: You will receive an e-mail in your inbox when the alum accepts your meeting. Reply to this e-mail to work out the details of your meeting with the alum!)
Wait, let’s back up and talk about Step 2. Your message to an alum when you request a meeting should be professional, brief, and articulate. A go-to formula might be Introduction+Explanation of Interest+Meeting Type+Sign-Off = Meeting Request. If you’re like me and equations make your head spin, take a look at these real life examples below. (Names changed for privacy purposes, but kudos to these students).
Dear Ms. Hoya, My name is John Carroll and I am a rising senior Government major hoping to pursue a career in government or public policy upon graduation. Given that your experience in the House of Representatives, I would appreciate the opportunity to ask you a few questions about your career path after graduation. Please let me know if you are free to talk with me in the next few weeks! Thank you, John Carroll
Dear Jack, I hope this finds you well. My name is Robert Wagner, a student at Georgetown SFS, originally from Mongolia. As a rising junior, I am looking to speak to willing Georgetown alums who have worked/working in finance as I have always been very keen to work in investment banking. Given your experience at Morgan Stanley, I would very much appreciate speaking with you in the near future to discuss the transition from college to investment banking, and any suggestions you may be willing to share. Thank you for your time and consideration. Best regards, Robert Wagner
Dear Ms. Healy, My name is Judy Hoya and I am a rising junior in the College studying Government and Economics. I was wondering if you would be available for an informational interview in the coming weeks. I am really interested in entrepreneurship and would love to hear about your start-up and the process you had to go through to establish Parking Panda. Thank you very much. I look forward to hearing from you! Best Regards, Judy Hoya
I hope this is helpful for a lot of you. The most important thing to remember is that alumni are eager to meet with you! The next best thing to remember is that Hoya Gateway is all about the learning experience, so if you’re afraid of making a mistake somewhere in this process, know that these alumni are here to help you and offer you feedback because they want to see you succeed. Good luck!
Questions? E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.