Tips for Contacting Alumni Pirate Mentors for Networking
Career Center

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.

How do students connect with Pirate Mentors?

  1. Set up a LinkedIn account. Go to www.LinkedIn.com for details on completing your profile and suggestions for how to maximize the tools available in LinkedIn.
  2. Request to join Seton Hall University – The Career Center - South Orange Group.
  3. Once accepted, request to join the Pirate Mentoring subgroup.
  4. Review guidelines for connecting with alumni Pirate Mentors – see below. 

Guidelines:

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 careers@shu.edu.

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.

To Find Alumni Pirate Mentors:

  • Make sure you're in the Pirate Mentoring subgroup in LinkedIn.
  • Click "Members"
  • Search for mentors by employer, interests, industry, etc.

Communicating with Alumni Pirate Mentors in LinkedIn:

  • Click "Send a Message." Mentors and mentees can find each other by using the "Send a Message" feature without accepting each other into their personal contacts.
  • 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.

The Pirate Mentor alum will contact you via e-mail and provide their preference and contact information for further communication - e-mail, phone or in-person.  Once you receive a reply from the mentor, it is your responsibility to follow-up with him/her in a timely manner (within 48 hours) to arrange a meeting.

Sample E-mails:

Subject Line: Seton Hall Pirate Mentor Connection Request

Hello Ms. Smith,

I am currently a student at Seton Hall University and found your mentor profile in The Career Center's Pirate Mentoring LinkedIn group. I've noticed that you have experience related to an industry and career path I am very interested in learning more about. I welcome the opportunity to connect with you for an informational interview to hear your first-hand insights and perspectives. I hope that we have an opportunity to meet or chat. Thank you in advance for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,
Michael Student,
Michael.student@student.shu.edu

(555) 555-1234


Subject Line: Seton Hall Pirate Mentor Connection Request

Dear Mr. Doe,
I am currently a student at Seton Hall University and found your mentor profile in The Career Center's Pirate Mentoring LinkedIn group. I would appreciate the opportunity to connect with you and get your advice on what types of organizations might be best for internships in the field of ____. Because of your experience, I greatly value your input and guidance. Thank you in advance for your time.

Best regards,

Jane Student,
Jane.student@student.shu.edu

(555) 555-5555


A few basics:

  • Determine what you want to learn from the mentor before you contact him/her.
  • 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?

Career Field

  • 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?

Personal Experience

  • 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?

Job Skills/Responsibilities

  • 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.

Contact Us

The Career Center
(973) 761-9355
careers@shu.edu
Bayley Hall Rm. 209

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