Meeting Tips for Students and Alumni
Three easy steps to a great meeting with alumni
- Brainstorm conversation topics. Though you’ll probably have lots to talk about, it may be helpful to prepare some questions to keep the conversation going. Here are a few ideas:
- Ask them to share reflections about their time at Stanford:
- What were some of the most defining events/opportunities/aspects of your time at Stanford?
- What is one thing I should be certain to do before I graduate?
- Ask questions about their career path and post-Stanford life:
- What inspires your passion for your career or other personal interests?
- Tell me about your post-Stanford path. Have there been any surprises along the way?
- If you find yourself having a career-oriented conversation, you might ask:
- What advice would you give to someone just starting out in your field?
- What skills have you found most useful in your professional life? Do you have advice on how I can cultivate these skills?
- What are the current or upcoming challenges in your industry/field?
- Share information about yourself. Alumni will be interested to hear about your background, your Stanford experience, your interests and your goals for the future. The more you share, the more potential points of connection and conversation there will be!
3. After the meeting, follow up with an email or call to say thank you and continue the connection.
Three easy steps to a great meeting with students
- Confirm the logistics and exchange cell phone numbers to avoid missed connections or mix-ups.
- Brainstorm conversation topics. Though you’ll probably have lots to talk about, it may be helpful to prepare a few questions and topics to keep the conversation going. Here are a few ideas:
- Get in the Stanford frame of mind by thinking back to your days as a student. What were some of your favorite classes, activities, events, pastimes? Ask questions about their Stanford experience and current happenings on campus.
- Ask questions about the fellowship and their involvement in service:
- What inspires their passion for public service?
- What is the purpose of their project/placement?
- What has the experience been like so far? Has it surprised them in any way?
- How does the fellowship fit into the larger picture of their goals for their time at Stanford and beyond?
- Share information about yourself. Students will be interested to hear about your post-Stanford pat and your advice about ways to make the most of their time at Stanford.
- Share information about your town/city. Most likely, the student will not be familiar with the area and its resources.
3. After the meeting, follow up to continue the connection.
For additional resources, check out Career Education's Stanford Alumni Mentor Resources Page.
Three easy ways to connect with other students/alumni
- Stanford Career Connect
Students, search this database of over 9,000 alumni to find career contacts and arrange informational interviews and networking. Alumni, serve as a career contact for students and alumni for informational interviews and networking.
- Stanford Alumni Mentoring
SAM connects alumni with Stanford students in one-on-one, mentoring relationships. When you register, you become available for SAM’s online matching system to pair you with an alumna/us (or student) who is excited to share his/her thoughts about the professional world and life after The Farm. You define your time commitment, with a minimum commitment of 1 hour per month.
- Shadow Program
The Shadow Program gives students a chance to shadow (spend a day on the job with) a professional in order to gain a better awareness of the working world. Alumni can sign up to be part of a database of professionals working in a wide range of career fields willing to sponsor students for a day of "shadowing."