GSB has received multiple questions from students about communication. How do you check in with an employer about the status of your job/internship? How do you network with alumni? How do you ask someone to be your reference? All are important for building your professional network!
Here are some quick tips and language to use as you get closer to your professional life.
Asking an Employer About Your Job/Internship
If you have a position lined up for summer/fall but haven’t connected with your employer yet, now is the time. It’s a good idea to check in directly with the HR Department or your hiring manager. Chances are good that not much has changed, but reaching out shows engagement and will help you plan for any new timelines or processes. It’s also a good chance for you to see how your new company responds to emergencies.
Make your outreach simple, direct, and positive, like in this example below.
Hi [HR/Supervisor Name],
I hope you are well.
I am checking in on how things are going at [Company Name] during COVID-19. How has [Company Name] been handling the response?
With graduation coming up very soon, I am really looking forward to starting my role as [Position Title]. I am still planning on a [month/day] start date. Have there been any changes that I should plan for? Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help the transition.
Connecting with a UVM Alumni
UVMConnect is the official alumni directory for the University of Vermont. You can search for alums by location, industry, graduation year, school, and more. It’s a great way to find other UVM graduates in your fields of interest, and so many of them want to help recent graduates! This is a great way to expand your network, make professional connections, and even find a mentor or potential job offers.
Reaching out can be intimidating – just remember that anyone with the “Willing to Help” label wants to get to know you. They know UVM creates amazing graduates! You can ask about breaking into an industry, working for specific companies, their advice/insights, and more. Make sure to let them know what sparked your interest in speaking with them, and make a specific ask.
Here’s an example that you can tailor to your own background and interests.
My name is [Your Name], and I’m a Class of 2020 graduate from the Grossman School of Business. I found your name on UVMConnect as I was looking for Business School graduates with careers in real estate. I’m hoping to take my Marketing concentration into commercial real estate in Vermont, so I was excited to see another UVM graduate already doing just that.
Would you be free to chat about your experiences after UVM, and how you got to where you are today? I would love 20-30 minutes to hear more about your time at [company] and any advice you have for someone just starting out. We could connect by phone, or whatever works for you.
I hope you’re doing well. I look forward to talking with you!
How to Ask Someone for a Reference
This other potentially nerve-wracking outreach is also hugely important for the job search. Former supervisors, professors, mentors, and co-workers are all good options for references. It is good to remember that for many supervisors and educators, serving as a reference is part of their job! They want you to succeed, so do not hesitate to ask.
Always ask your references in advance for their permission. It is also best to include a job description and your most recent resume, so they can speak to your abilities.
Hi [Reference Name],
How are you doing? I hope things aren’t too hectic right now. I am graduating soon and really excited to start life after college!
I am in the process of applying for entry level jobs, specifically as [role type] in the [industries of choice] area. Could I use you as a professional reference? I enjoyed having you as a [professor/supervisor/etc], and believe that you can speak to my teamwork, leadership, and creative abilities.
Here is the post for the role I’m currently applying for: [link to description]. I’ve also attached my current resume for your reference.
Thank you for your time!