Students that have completed one full semester at Bucknell are officially members of the alumni community. Alumni Relations & the Career Development Center are happy to share that that means you now have access the online alumni directory via the Alumni App or the web-based version. This is a great privilege that comes along with responsibilities.
Don’t make a mistake that will harm your professional online reputation – remember:
- It is a privilege to belong to this Bucknell community app. Treat all members/alumni with respect, professionalism, and courtesy.
- The information is restricted to those who are allowed access to the community. It should not be used for commercial purposes, nor should the data be reproduced, sold, transferred or modified in any way. If someone uses the information/data in any of the above ways, they risk losing access to the app.
- As a student, you will be able to see the alumni in the directory but they will not be able to see you or your profile.
In light of this new access we’d like to offer a few tips for reaching out to alumni effectively:
- Let the alumni get to know you before asking for something. Many professionals are going to be busy, as well as thinking about their own reputations in their workplace. While they can help you with contacts, advice, and even opportunities, they are putting themselves at risk to do so for someone they don’t know, so let them get to know you before asking for something.
- Consider asking for an informational interview. It is a low-risk and enjoyable way to get to know someone as well as to learn more about an industry and/or employer. Know how to communicate effectively in an email, voicemail, or in person. See this as a professional relationship (versus a social one) and conduct yourself in a professional manner.
- Do your homework before approaching alumni.They will expect you know something about their industry and employer.Utilize the many career research resources available to you.
- Use strategy as you identify who you will contact and clearly communicate your goals.The VP or CEO of an organization may not be the best choice for your objectives.If you are trying to reach a senior executive, think about how you will interact with the “gatekeepers”, (ie. Secretaries, Assistants, etc.)
- Target your interactions – No Bulk Emails – they can be spotted from miles away. Send specific, individual messages.
Remember you can always stop by the CDC for Quick Question (M-F, 1:30 – 3:30) or make an appointment to talk about tips and strategies for networking.