Making Connections & Employer Research
Summer is an excellent time to learn more about specific industries and employers, which includes reaching out to fellow students, recent alumni, and other professionals who are working in fields or at organizations that interest you. Making connections and networking are the most effective ways to explore pathways, navigate the application and interview process, and position yourself for future internship and job opportunities. What sets a candidate apart is their demonstrated interest and knowledge about the organization, the work that they do, and the broader career field. In addition to connecting with professionals, you can get a head start by utilizing some of the sources below.
Tips for Making Connections
- Review the MCS Making Connections handout (pdf) to think about how you might reach out and structure conversations with professionals and alumni.
- Use the MCS Firsthand Alumni Adviser Platform to speak with an alum for a career chat, resume review, or mock interview. Simply click “get advice,” enter a brief message, and select your availability.
- See MCS tips for LinkedIn and Harvard’s Alumni Directory for help connecting online with alumni who want to help you with a future internship, job search, or career plans.
- Check the Employer Events Calendar regularly for information about employer webinars and networking receptions this summer.
Career Field and Employer Research
- MCS Resources and Tips by Field – navigate to the “Discover Career Pathways” tab.
- Firsthand Vault Guides (free through MCS) – access industry guides, “a day in the life” profiles, and more.
- Search Engine Alerts – set up “Google alerts” and/or other notifications to email you when a particular organization or topic is mentioned online.
- LinkedIn – join groups in relevant industries and sectors, browse discussion boards, follow company pages.
- Industry Publications – read relevant news about organizations and sectors that interest you in publications like The Wall Street Journal (subscribe for free with your HarvardKey), Bloomberg Businessweek, AdWeek, Wired, and Harvard Business Review.
- Employer Websites – keep tabs on organizations you are interested in by periodically checking their websites, especially the career section, and joining their mailing lists (if it is an option).
This message was shared over the MCS Recruiting & Employer email list. Harvard College students: subscribe here for more messages like this throughout the summer.