Hiatt's networking requirements

Before you can join the Brandeis University Career Connections LinkedIn group or submit a Wisdom Wanted ad, you must:

1. Read and electronically sign Hiatt's social responsibility and integrity contract.

2. Watch this brief video on networking and take the quiz.

Featured Networking Programs

Submit a Wisdom Wanted ad


Featured Resources

Brandeis Business Cards

Brainstorming Matrix

Sample Networking Questions

Email/Phone Outreach Template

LinkedIn for Students


Networking is the initiation, cultivation and management of productive professional relationships.  If you’ve ever talked to a professor, chatted with a family friend, or made conversation with someone on a plane, then you’ve already networked!

Networking Prep

A Note About Your Privacy & Online Reputation

Since so much networking is done online, it’s important to review and/or clean up your web presence.  Google yourself and then ask yourself, “am I comfortable with an employer seeing this visual and written content about me?”  Employers, schools, and networking contacts regularly pass on a candidate if they don’t like what they see online.

1) Set Goals

Before you begin, identify why you want to network. For example:

  • Explore options and potential career paths
  • Elevate your application for a particular job or internship (did you know that 70% of people land their jobs through networking?!)
  • Gather “insider” information about a particular company’s culture and/or hiring processes
  • Expand your circle of professionals
  • Improve interviewing skills through professional conversations
  • Learn industry trends and professional vocabulary from practitioners

2) Research 

You should learn as much as you can about the industry, job function or employer of interest as well as the person with whom you will be speaking. Learn more about conducting industry, job and company research.

If you already know with whom you are meeting, be sure to visit the contact’s company website, search for the contact’s name online, and review the contact’s LinkedIn profile.

3) Find Contacts

Networking relationships may be casual or formal. Use this brainstorming worksheet to identify potential networking contacts in your circle.

LinkedIn is another efficient way to identify people of interest.

4) Develop Questions

Unlike a traditional interview, YOU will be asking the majority of the questions in a networking interaction. You should expect to have about 10-15 questions ready to ask for a half hour conversation. Check out these sample networking questions to get started.

5) Introduce Yourself: AKA the Elevator Pitch

An elevator pitch is a short summary to quickly and simply introduce yourself and highlight your unique skills and qualifications. It should take no more than 60 seconds.  Use this tool to help structure your pitch.

Reaching Out

You may be connecting either via phone or in writing. In both cases, you will want to make sure you address the following:

Who Are You?

  • Provide a brief introduction of yourself
  • Mention the fact that you are a Brandeis student
  • For written correspondence, you might attach a resume so the person knows your background

Why Them?

  • Indicate why you are writing to this individual in particular
  • Briefly state your interests or experiences in the person’s field, organization, or location

What Do You Want?

  • Request more specific information and advice (do not ask for an internship or job)
  • Set expectations - you are initially asking for roughly 15-30 minutes of their time
  • Include how and when you will contact this person again

Follow Up

  • It’s appropriate to send a polite follow-up email after 7-10 business days if you don’t hear back.  Don’t take it personally.  Even those with the best intentions can be busy.

Start with Hiatt's outreach template to begin crafting your introduction!

Meeting In Person

  • Be courteous. Arrive on time, or even early. 
  • Dress professionally as a sign of respect and to make a good impression.
  • Ask for advice, not a job.  Remember, you’re seeking expertise and wisdom, not a mass-distribution of your resume.
  • Be prepared to talk about yourself.  Your contact will surely ask about your experiences and interest.
  • Really listen to what the person tells you.
  • Take notes. While it is important to maintain eye contact during in-person meetings, taking notes also demonstrates interest in what the person is saying.
  • Keep the conversation relatively short. Respect that the other person has many demands on his/her time. Be aware of the time that has passed and when there is a break in the conversation near the end of the time you requested, thank the person and politely end the conversation.

Networking Opportunities

Opportunities to connect, both in person, and online are everywhere.  

Follow Up & Next Steps

1) Say Thanks

Immediately following your interaction, you should send a thank you note. This shows your contact that you are appreciative of their time.

2) Process the Conversation

Make note of any impressions you have from the conversation. Ask yourself:

  • What did I learn (both positive and negative)?

  • What more might I need to know?

  • What are my next steps?

3) Stay in Touch

You’ll want to stay in touch with others as these relationships may lead to future job or internship referrals, letters of recommendation, and/or additional contacts.

In most cases, it is important to keep your contacts informed. A simple email to check-in or update contacts is appropriate. Networking contacts - especially Brandeis alumni - are often sincerely interested in helping and are curious about what ultimately happens in your career and academic adventures.

4) Recognize When to Let Go

Not all networking relationships will endure. This is perfectly normal and expected. If you feel that the relationship is no longer beneficial to you or your contact, or that you’ve reached your anticipated goals, you should simply part amicably, politely, and professionally. You may always return to these conversations, if desired, in the future.

5) Reciprocate

Networking is a two-way street. You never know when someone may seek out your insights and advice in return. Hiatt encourages you to find time to share your resources, contacts, and information with other networkers - especially fellow Brandeis students and alumni - as you progress in your career.