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Alumni Directory optimization

Hello,

I am a student at UPenn and we have direct access to the alumni network. I have a summer internship offer ready but I'd like to move to a bigger firm (MBB + other top 8) for full time. How should I optimize alumni and get a referral from them? What is the method of approaching them (via email)?

Thanks.

Hello,

I am a student at UPenn and we have direct access to the alumni network. I have a summer internship offer ready but I'd like to move to a bigger firm (MBB + other top 8) for full time. How should I optimize alumni and get a referral from them? What is the method of approaching them (via email)?

Thanks.

5 answers

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Book a coaching with Antonello

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I recommend finding ex-alumni of your University or friend of friends through LinkedIn. Build a relationship based on their past experiences and your drive to consulting and ask for a referral.

Best,
Antonello

I recommend finding ex-alumni of your University or friend of friends through LinkedIn. Build a relationship based on their past experiences and your drive to consulting and ask for a referral.

Best,
Antonello

I did this and got partner referrals. But i was an experienced hire coming from another industry. And the people who replied tended to have similar background to me and felt sympathetic.

I think you're putting the cart before the horse and not helping your chances reaching out this early. Especially if you were already recently dinged or not invited to interviews by same firms.
Caveat: if you're in an undergrad club or biz frat, and have friends or an alumni database specific to that group, they'll be more likely to help you out of the blue.

I'd wait until the summer to reach out at earliest. Will look very bad (imo) if you do it before you've shown ability to do the job well at another firm first. They hate overeager, underqualified undergrads spamming them. They can't help you right now, so why email them?

If you are committed to reaching out now, YOLO. Yes, you'lll get replies. Def not as many as when you're potentially a more legit candidate (in their eyes) in future. But you'll get replies. I'd recommend starting with lower tier and working your way up.

If/when you do email:

1. Make email as short as possible.

2. It's not short enough. Cut 1-2 more sentences.

3. Be honest, explain situation in first 2 lines.

4. In another 1-2 lines: the ask and the why (why you're reaching out to them)

5. Say thank you.

6. A/B test attaching resume and not attaching resume

You have an unfair advantage with access to penn alumni database, especially Wharton. Don't waste your trump card by focusing on prestige so early in your career.

Get work experience, prove you're worth a reply.

I did this and got partner referrals. But i was an experienced hire coming from another industry. And the people who replied tended to have similar background to me and felt sympathetic.

I think you're putting the cart before the horse and not helping your chances reaching out this early. Especially if you were already recently dinged or not invited to interviews by same firms.
Caveat: if you're in an undergrad club or biz frat, and have friends or an alumni database specific to that group, they'll be more likely to help you out of the blue.

I'd wait until the summer to reach out at earliest. Will look very bad (imo) if you do it before you've shown ability to do the job well at another firm first. They hate overeager, underqualified undergrads spamming them. They can't help you right now, so why email them?

If you are committed to reaching out now, YOLO. Yes, you'lll get replies. Def not as many as when you're potentially a more legit candidate (in their eyes) in future. But you'll get replies. I'd recommend starting with lower tier and working your way up.

If/when you do email:

1. Make email as short as possible.

2. It's not short enough. Cut 1-2 more sentences.

3. Be honest, explain situation in first 2 lines.

4. In another 1-2 lines: the ask and the why (why you're reaching out to them)

5. Say thank you.

6. A/B test attaching resume and not attaching resume

You have an unfair advantage with access to penn alumni database, especially Wharton. Don't waste your trump card by focusing on prestige so early in your career.

Get work experience, prove you're worth a reply.

(edited)

Book a coaching with Clara

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Hello!

Getting the chance to get to know someone personally and connect would boost your options of getting referred. For this:

  1. Leverage events with this purpose, such as recruiting events or networking events hosted by Uni. There are plenty, and if not in yours, in others!
  2. Ask for a call or better a short talk, to have the chance to engage in less cold way than over mail.

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

Clara

Hello!

Getting the chance to get to know someone personally and connect would boost your options of getting referred. For this:

  1. Leverage events with this purpose, such as recruiting events or networking events hosted by Uni. There are plenty, and if not in yours, in others!
  2. Ask for a call or better a short talk, to have the chance to engage in less cold way than over mail.

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

Clara

Book a coaching with Francesco

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Hi Anonymous,

as general tips:

  • Don’t use LinkedIn for your communication – emails work a lot better. There are several tools nowadays that allow to find very quickly the email of basically anyone and your case you should have access to the email via the database. You should target at least 30% conversion for your messages – if you are not achieving that there is space for improvement in your message.
  • When you write to your target connections, your goal should not be to ask questions, rather to organize a call. Then in the call you should ask the right questions to create a link with them.
  • Whatever questions you ask during the call, you should have a closing question to ask (indirectly) for the referral. Don’t leave that to chances.

You should prepare three main things before the call:

  • Your own pitch, highlighting who you are in 3-4 key sentences. Previous /experience with relevant brands/companies would be great to show you are qualified
  • 3-4 questions, focused on the personal experiences of the person (and not on the company only). Ideally you should try to learn as much as possible about the contact before. You can also discover relevant information with the first questions. Your goal here is to have a conversation and not a Q&A session.
  • Closing question for referral. You should ask (in an indirect way to avoid to be too pushy) a referral at the end of the call. If you correctly introduce yourself, do a good job with the questions before and have something in common (eg former alumni, common connections…), you can increase by a relevant amount the likelihood of a referral. If you don’t ask, they may not volunteer to offer one.

Before the call, it would be useful to review your CV and Cover, to be sure they are updated and structured properly for your application, so that you can forward them without delays if needed.

If you are interested to know more about the exact email and call templates to maximize conversions for referrals, please feel free to PM me.

Best,

Francesco

Hi Anonymous,

as general tips:

  • Don’t use LinkedIn for your communication – emails work a lot better. There are several tools nowadays that allow to find very quickly the email of basically anyone and your case you should have access to the email via the database. You should target at least 30% conversion for your messages – if you are not achieving that there is space for improvement in your message.
  • When you write to your target connections, your goal should not be to ask questions, rather to organize a call. Then in the call you should ask the right questions to create a link with them.
  • Whatever questions you ask during the call, you should have a closing question to ask (indirectly) for the referral. Don’t leave that to chances.

You should prepare three main things before the call:

  • Your own pitch, highlighting who you are in 3-4 key sentences. Previous /experience with relevant brands/companies would be great to show you are qualified
  • 3-4 questions, focused on the personal experiences of the person (and not on the company only). Ideally you should try to learn as much as possible about the contact before. You can also discover relevant information with the first questions. Your goal here is to have a conversation and not a Q&A session.
  • Closing question for referral. You should ask (in an indirect way to avoid to be too pushy) a referral at the end of the call. If you correctly introduce yourself, do a good job with the questions before and have something in common (eg former alumni, common connections…), you can increase by a relevant amount the likelihood of a referral. If you don’t ask, they may not volunteer to offer one.

Before the call, it would be useful to review your CV and Cover, to be sure they are updated and structured properly for your application, so that you can forward them without delays if needed.

If you are interested to know more about the exact email and call templates to maximize conversions for referrals, please feel free to PM me.

Best,

Francesco

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Hi,

Usually, you ask them for a short call (10-15 min) to talk about their experience in a particular company. And see how it goes from there

I would also recommend reaching out to the current grad students who are MBB alums. Will be much more productive and they can refer you through someone or reach out the on-campus recruiter

Vlad

Hi,

Usually, you ask them for a short call (10-15 min) to talk about their experience in a particular company. And see how it goes from there

I would also recommend reaching out to the current grad students who are MBB alums. Will be much more productive and they can refer you through someone or reach out the on-campus recruiter

Vlad