8 Adults students can ask for Informational Interview leads
In my last post, I talked about the value of student informational interviews: short (15 minutes) meetings with adults who work in fields in which you (the student) are interested. so you can learn more about the field and the career opportunities in an effort to decide if it is a good fit.
Of course, you might say, “Yeah, but I don’t know anyone who works in that industry.” Maybe not, but you probably know someone who knows someone who knows someone. The key is this: don’t make assumptions about who can make a connection. Maybe Grandma isn’t the most tech-savvy person in the world, but she might tell you that her friend’s daughter works in the video game industry. You never know!
Here are 8 adults that even introverted student can ask for referrals for an informational interview:
- Family: This one is a no-brainer, but don’t limit your search to Mom and Dad. Uncles, aunts, cousins, grandparents, even older siblings may know someone you can talk to. Make sure to call your out of town family too…informational interviews can be done online as well!
- Friends: People your age will probably not have networks the size of the adults you know, but that doesn’t mean they can’t connect you with someone. Plus, friends are really easy to ask.
- Teachers: If there are teachers you had good relationships with from previous years, talk to them too!
- Community group leaders: Your boy/girl scout leader, pastor/rabbi/imam, or the head of a volunteer organization you are a part of are great people to get referals from. Doesn’t hurt that you are getting referred as part of a community service organization!
- Employers: If you have a job, it’s a good bet that your boss is plugged into the local business community and may have connections you can take advantage of. I’m not talking about the college aged shift supervisor, but rather the store or district manager. Bonus: if you work in customer service and you have regular customers that like you, they aren’t bad people to ask either if your after high-school life comes up in conversation!
- Friends’ parents: You’ve known them for years, and they know you really well. Why not see if they can help you make a connection?
- Coaches: See teachers above.
- Social Media: This isn’t really an adult, but how hard is it to throw up a post on Facebook/Instagram/Twitter/LinkedIn (you do have a LinkedIn, right?!). Taking a few minutes to ask for connections on social media could be the easiest way to make a connection.
Ask each adult this: “I’m learning about different careers, and so I’m trying to meet people who work in industry X and schedule a 15 minute meeting to ask questions about their job and industry. Do you know anyone in that field that might be willing to meet with me?”
So get out there and start networking! Check out What Color is your Parachute for Teens for more ideas like this one.