As students, we are very comfortable in the classroom setting whether it be in person or on Zoom. However, when it comes to the “real world”, we are not as comfortable and that is due to a lack of experience. One way to get ahead of the curve is to connect with a Smeal Alum and network with them. There are some ways to go about doing this and those include finding someone from your club or organization that is a Smeal Alum and reach out to them or engage in the Smeal Alumni Mentoring Program in which you will be paired with someone who is a Smeal Alum that is in your major or has similar career goals as you. Once you have followed one of these paths and have successfully connected with a Smeal Alum, there are some key things that you should do to have a beneficial experience.
First off, in the introduction meeting, introduce yourself, get to know the Alum and talk about what your goals are from creating this relationship. Think about ways that you can make this connection beneficial for you and the person on the other end. Secondly, stay in touch and reach out to your connection to stay updated with new milestones they have reached in their professional and personal careers. Finally, treat this relationship as a professional friendship because you want to keep this long lasting and beneficial for both parties involved. Overall, I would encourage all students to apply for the Smeal Alumni Mentoring Program as it can create a long lasting connection with a Smeal Alumni and can turn into future opportunities.