Use the web, find a mentor

Bridget Bowers

Career Services is excited to bring you the new NovaNet mentor database with over 500 alumni and friends of Villanova who are waiting to hear from you!

Whether you utilize the database to explore options for your major, or to start the job search process, NovaNet provides you with contacts who are in the field and can give you the most up to date advice and industry information.

While the mentors are not in the database to make job offers, their assistance often provides you with much needed information, and additional contacts.

How to Work With a Mentor:

Forethought, preparation and follow up are key to working with mentors.

NovaNet mentors have designated how they would like to be contacted (i.e. by phone, email, or snail-mail).

If email is preferred, be sure to let them know how you found their name in addition to giving them brief background information about you (i.e. interests, extracurricular activities/involvements etc.).

You could include your resume as a means of introduction. Be sure to ask specific, well thought out questions, based on their career and job/industry description.

If you are meeting the mentor in person, be on time and dressed appropriately (i.e. business or business casual clothing).

You are primarily responsible for the content of the meeting, as it will be based on your questions and inquiries.

Keep in mind you should ask your most important questions first, and stick to the agreed upon time period.

It is also a good idea to ask the mentor if they can recommend anyone else to speak with, thus automatically expanding your network.

Some suggested questions for mentors include:

· How did you get to this point in your career?

· How did you decide to get into the field and what steps did you take?

· What advice do you have for someone wishing to enter this field?

· What majors prepare students for this profession?

· What do you do in a typical workday?

Additional questions can be found in the CSO Networking handout or by meeting with a career counselor.

You may find that you keep in touch with your mentor throughout your years here at Villanova, utilizing them as a sounding board as you go through the various stages of preparing for your future. Strike up a conversation, respond to their advice with thoughtful reactions and questions.

In other words, make this a reciprocal process and go beyond generic Q & A!

Follow Up:

Always follow-up with a thank you letter, letting the contact know how much you appreciated the time that they spent with you and the information they shared. Let them know that their time was valuable to you!

Communication is the key to successful networking so it is important to let your contact know when you follow their advice, make contact with someone to whom you were referred, or when you are successful in obtaining a job or internship.

The people you meet with will enjoy hearing how they were able to help you and most likely will be an important contact in the future!

To access NovaNet, login to your Experience account through the Career Services’ website, Questions? Call CSO at (610)519-4060.