By Adrienne Coyle (C’03)
So, you went to the Hoya Gateway Event or met a Georgetown alumni in another forum and want to keep in touch with the individual whom you met….now what? Relationship Building Follow Up Tips The follow up after a relationship building event is critical because it helps to solidify the foundation that you are building with fellow Hoyas for the long term. The benefit of attending Georgetown University is that you have thousands of alums at your fingertips who want to be a part of your journey and help you not only with the beginning of your career, but also throughout the development of it as well. Take hold of this opportunity, cherish it, and make the most of not who you could be…rather, who you will be because of your passion, endurance and supportive alumni. The following tips are a few simple ways to strengthen you connections: 1) Business Cards: As a member of the junior or senior class having your own business card that includes your name, class year, school, email and phone number is a powerful way to illustrate your interest to keep in contact and initiate the maintenance of the connection with a fellow Hoya who you can rely on for career advice. Ask for the alum’s business card or follow-up with a LinkedIn invite, in addition to providing your card. The community you are building consists of individuals who want to help you, so ask them the questions that you really need assist with because you now have a safe and supportive forum before you approach the real world full of challenging interviews. 2) Informational Interview and Shadowing: During college and throughout my career I had many ideas and preconceptions about certain professions (law, banking, marketing, etc.). However, the only way to gain a true understanding of a profession is to spend time in the role with a mentor. I know that I not only speak for myself, but for other alumni who are open to informational meetings to discuss their current job, or have a student spend time in their office to observe the day. These types of experience will enable you to narrow your focus and make informed decisions that have a powerful impact on your career. 3) Results of an Information Interview of Shadowing Experience: So what happens if you have an information interview and realize the career path is NOT for you? Be thankful, you have more information about yourself that will support the direction you take with your career. What about the Hoya whom you met with? Despite having different career interests, this individual is still an important relationship to maintain. You never know, in five or ten years they may reach out to you because they came across an opportunity that could be a perfect for you. As you building your community never think “job”, think “relationship building”, it is a clear theme in this blog posting and why I promote the term over networking.Hoya Gateway is not just about your career, it is about building your life long Georgetown community that is a valuable family to hold onto for a lifetime. It enables you to lean, grow and most important give to others. On a closing note, please feel free to reach out to me via Hoya Gateway with regard to specific questions about building your Hoya Community. I am more than happy to share my experiences and listen to your questions and ideas that will shape the future of our community. Adrienne Coyle is a 2003 graduate of Georgetown College. She is currently is an Assistant Vice President with Deutsche Bank (NY) where she focuses on the recent restructuring of financial markets, and provides insight into the evolving regulatory and compliance environment.