Tips for Locating and Contacting Pirate Mentors
What is networking? Why is it important?
- Networking is the art of tapping into your social and professional networks to learn more about fields.
- 80% of positions are found through networking; only 20% of available positions are advertised.
- Networking is not about asking for a position; it is about building relationships and asking for advice and information.
- Your network can include your friends, family, classmates, professors and neighbors.
Who are Pirate Mentors?
Pirate Mentors are Seton Hall alumni who have volunteered to provide current students and alumni with career advice. As alumni of Seton Hall, they can relate to your experience and the questions you have about your academic major, possible career paths and even internship and full-time professional opportunities.
As a mentee participant in the Pirate Mentoring Program, you agree to:
- Conduct yourself in an ethical and professional manner in keeping with the University's Code of Conduct.
- Acknowledge and respond to all Pirate Mentor communication in a timely manner (within 48 hours).
- Attend any scheduled meetings or calls. Provide the Pirate Mentor with at least 24 hours notice if there is a need to reschedule.
- Ask only for advice, not a job!
- Only use the connections for professional networking, not for soliciting or any type of distribution list.
- Maintain confidentiality with Mentor's contact information unless given permission by the Mentor to share that information.
- Inform The Career Center of any unethical or inappropriate behavior by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Failure to abide by these guidelines will result in removal from The Career Center's group and the Pirate Mentoring Program. Egregious violations can result in a ban from The Career Center's services.
Communicating with Alumni Pirate Mentors
- Send a brief e-mail introducing yourself and your reason for contacting the mentor. (See samples.) The subject line should state, "Seton Hall Pirate Mentor Connection Request." Please include your full name, e-mail address and phone number.
Determine what you want to learn from the mentor before you contact him/her. A few basics:
- Do NOT ask the mentor for a job!
- Prepare and write down the questions you plan to ask.
- Proofread all of your correspondence. Avoid informal or text message slang.
- Always address the mentor as Mr. or Ms. until told to do otherwise.
- Complete your LinkedIn profile so the mentor can review your background.
- A business or public setting (i.e., office or coffee shop) versus a private home is the preferred meeting location.
- Ask for additional contacts that might help you learn more.
- Be respectful of the mentor's time. Stay within the allotted time frame unless invited to do so by the mentor.
- Always send a thank-you note following the meeting. Samples are available in PirateNet via the "Career Guide" and Optimal Resume.
What questions should I ask a Pirate Mentor?
- What are the typical academic majors/backgrounds of professionals in this field?
- Is additional training or education needed to advance in this field?
- What types of organizations/companies tend to hire ____?
- What are the appealing/challenging aspects of this type of work?
- What is the outlook for this industry?
- Can you suggest any books, publications or web sites where I can do more research?
- Are there any networking or professional associations you can recommend?
- What was your academic major and how does it apply to your current work?
- Did you participate in an internship while in college?
- If so, what were the benefits/challenges of that experience?
- What has been your career path in this field?
- If you had to do it all over again, what would you do differently?
- What do you like most/least about your work?
- Do you view your work as a vocation or calling?
- What additional advice would you like to offer?
- Describe a typical day or project.
- What type of experiences or skills would you recommend to someone starting out in this field?
- Are there any internship programs or organizations that you can recommend?
Be Flexible and open. More questions may evolve during the conversation.