Networking with seniors in the industry

consulting graduate networking
New answer on Jun 20, 2022
7 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Jun 14, 2022

What do you think a senior (partner, director, manager) would feel about a graduate reaching out for them to ask for advice? 
 

Would it be perceived negatively if I ask to see them in person and ask them my questions? 
 

Thank you. 

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Hian Shen Jeffrey
Expert
replied on Jun 14, 2022
Current Bain & Company Associate Consultant | Ex-EY Consultant | 100+ coaching sessions conducted | Entrepreneur

Hey, thanks for posting this question. First of all, I think it is great that you are actually thinking of networking with seniors in the industry, this would not only give you greater insights into what the experts are doing on a daily basis but also provides you with an opportunity to land referrals.

Going back to your question, I believe most seniors/experts are willing to share their experience with young graduates just because they wish they had the same advice when they first graduated.

However, you need to make sure that you approach this wisely.

1. Do your homework. If you happen to get to know an expert from the field on LinkedIn / Social Media, do a bit of googling to understand who they are and the achievements they have

2. Craft your message. From the information you've gathered, write a personalized message to the experts, introducing who you are and what your intentions are, and why speaking with them via a quick call is so important for you

3. Follow up with them. After a week or so, if you did not receive any replies, do a follow-up by replying back to the e-mail/message once. If they ‘seen’ you / do not reply after the follow-up message then just move on (there are tons of experts in the industry anyways)

Hope this helps! :) 

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Udayan
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Jun 20, 2022
Top rated McKinsey Case & PEI coach/Multiple real offers/McKinsey EM in New York /6 years McKinsey recruiting experience

Great question as I believe a lot of people are usually asking themselves the same question while networking. There are a few things to note in general

  1. People like helping others out - take this platform for example, many experts answer questions for free because we want to help everyone we can. Similarly leaders in industry also want to help (by and large)
  2. However, everyone has limited time at hand and many competing priorities. As you get more senior, you become the bottleneck for a lot of decisions and so your time is in very high demand. This means that you are essentially spending all your day thinking about your todo lists or in meetings
  3. For them to give time to you, any request from you has to satisfy the following criteria
    1. It should be for a fixed amount of time short in duration (can I have 10 mins of your time)
    2. It should be very specific in nature (I would like your help with these 3 questions that I had)
    3. It should eventually lead to some positive outcome for them - this can be as simple as gratitude (as someone looking for ways to enter consulting your answers will be of immense help to me given your vast experience in this space)

Hope the above answers your question. Note that in general, people are more likely to talk to you if you establish some common ground - this could be other connections you know, referral through a friend or family, having gone to the same school/college etc. 

All the best with your networking endevours

Udayan

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Eishan
CoachingPlus Expert
replied on Jun 14, 2022
Helping consulting aspirants crack the case interview and achieve thier dream job. Bain I LBS MBA I Uber I Bloomberg

Hi - 

I would say you can. But be careful of the types of questions you are asking associate partners and above. 

For such senior level people you want to ask stuff around their practice areas, publications and why that is interesting to you. Or you might want to reach out regarding being mentored. I would also avoid reaching out totally without any connection. So when you reach out, establish a connection like the same university, same broad subject in research, both from military background, etc. Use that to build a connect 

For questions about recruiting, what is consulting, how does the firm do XYZ, keep that for HR or more junior level staff like consultants or managers. 

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Francesco
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Jun 15, 2022
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.000+) | 1.400+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ InterviewOffers.com) | Ex BCG | 9Y+ Coaching

Hi there,

1) What do you think a senior (partner, director, manager) would feel about a graduate reaching out for them to ask for advice? 

This is totally fine if you reach out in the right way (see link below for some tips). Ideally the person should have a connection with you (eg school Alumnus).

2) Would it be perceived negatively if I ask to see them in person and ask them my questions? 

Assuming your goal is a referral, I would not ask to meet in person – that’s too much a commitment. But you can ask if you can have a quick call.

You can find more tips here:

 How to Connect with Consultants to Get Referrals

Good luck!

Francesco

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Kurt
Expert
replied on Jun 14, 2022
Conducted over 100 interviews for grads, interns & experienced hires

Hi - I'm not sure if you mean a graduate who already works at the company, or a university graduate who is seeking a graduate role.

In the former case, it is perfectly acceptable to reach out although you should be prepared with some questions and discussion topics for the conversation.

In the latter case, my personal view is that there is limited direct benefit. It may be good long term networking, but the reality is that the partner/director will have limited input on the hiring decision and will likely just refer you to go through the process and delegate the decision to people who interview you. 

It can be good long term networking to build those connections, but in that case I would look to have a reason or theme to reach out to them on rather than just under the guise of looking for a graduate role

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Clara
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Jun 18, 2022
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

Hello!

Honestly, I don´t think there would be any problem at all. The thing is that they wouldn´t answer, unless you have a personal connection with them. 

I would recommend you to reach out to more junior pple, or leverage ad-hoc events from the companies or industry-focused ones. 

Hope it helps!

Cheers, 

Clara

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Ian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Jun 16, 2022
MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi there,

There's no downside risk to reaching out - you may as well try!

That said, it's extremely forward to ask to see them in-person.

When network, make sure you're doing it right! (sending the right messages, going about the calls the right way, etc.)

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Hian Shen Jeffrey gave the best answer

Hian Shen Jeffrey

Current Bain & Company Associate Consultant | Ex-EY Consultant | 100+ coaching sessions conducted | Entrepreneur
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