January is Student-Alumni Flash Mentoring Month!

Harvard alumni are great at giving back, and one of the ways they love to support current students is by offering advice and mentorship.  You can reach out to alumni at any time, but OCS partners with the Harvard Alumni Association (HAA) to promote January as Student-Alumni Flash Mentoring Month.  Take advantage of this time when you don’t have coursework and other campus commitments to get advice on different career pathways, strengthen your skills conducting informational meetings, and expand your network.  Over 2,000 Harvard alumni representing a variety of fields and professions have signed up on the OCS Firsthand Advisers platform to connect with you!

Explore options, get connected, and jump start your career during Flash Mentoring Month!

What is “Flash Mentoring”?

This describes student-alumni conversations focused on the student’s questions and needs at that point in time. In Firsthand these are called “career conversations” and they are a great opportunity to get advice about:

  • Choosing a concentration, field of study, or research area
  • Thriving, belonging, and making the most of Harvard
  • Exploring different career pathways
  • Finding job and internship opportunities
  • Considering graduate or professional school
  • Living in a particular region of the world

What to do:

As a Harvard College, GSAS, or Extension School degree student, you already have a Firsthand account!  Go to the OCS Firsthand Advisers platform, click the “Get Advice” button, and set up a password. Then use the platform to search, message, and schedule a meeting time with an alum.

Firsthand Advisers Website

What to say:

Harvard College Guide to Making Connections

Check out the OCS Expand Your Network webpage, as well as specific tips and advice for your school:

Specific questions you might want to ask:

  • What was your first job after you left Harvard?
  • What did you study at Harvard, and how did that relate (or not) to what you are doing now?
  • How did you gain “real world” experience while at Harvard? (Internships, research, service, job shadowing, etc.)
  • What skills did you learn at Harvard that have helped you throughout your career?
  • What are your favorite parts of your job? What do you find most challenging?
  • What changes have you seen in your industry given the COVID pandemic?
  • Based on my skills, education, and experience, what other career paths do you suggest I explore?
  • Who else would you recommend I speak with?

While you have access to OCS Firsthand Advisers year-round, alumni are specifically making themselves available this January before classes start.

By Deb Carroll
Deb Carroll Director, Employer Relations and Operations