The CarlsChat program (formerly named 30 Minutes) brings students interested in a specific job or industry face-to-face (or via Zoom) with alumni experienced in that field. In just half an hour, Carleton networking magic happens.
Carleton students from any class year can sign up to meet on campus or via Zoom in the Career Center with Carleton alumni to explore career options. These half-hour conversations, or informational interviews, provide an accessible way to practice connecting with alumni and expand your Carleton networks. Students guide the conversation by coming up with questions to learn more about the alums career path.
A Few Tips and Requests
- If you cannot attend, please let us know ASAP. You can cancel by emailing Sarah Rechtzigel at email@example.com (or calling 507-222-4296), so we can make adjustments to the schedule and be respectful of the alum’s time.
- Pay attention to your email in case a last-minute cancellation brings you up from the waitlist!
Preparing for your CarlsChat
By participating in CarlsChat, you are on your way to making the most of the Carleton network. In order to have the best possible experience, please do the following as you prepare to meet with the alum:
- Arrive 10 Minutes Early: please remember this Carleton alum has taken time from his/her work day to speak with you. We ask that you be cognizant of this and arrive 10 minutes early and well-prepared for your CarlsChat appointment! This is good practice as you prepare for future interviews.
- Do Your Research: read the profile provided and google the alum. This is the same kind of preparation you would do for a job interview.
- Bring Questions: think about what you really want to know. In addition to questions about typical work days, challenges and rewards and ways to get your foot in the door, you might ask versions of the following (and remember, other students may ask the same questions, so try to personalize them! (See more interview questions.)
- What is a typical work day like in your profession?
- What are the biggest challenges and rewards of your job?
- What are some of the ways to find out more about or to get experience in your field?
- How did you first get into the field?
- How did you find your way to this position?
- What kinds of background, experience or education do people need to do well in this kind of job?
- What does a typical career path look like in your industry?
- What do you like most about what you do, and what would you change if you could?
- How do you keep up with developments in your field? What kinds of resources, journals or websites would you suggest I look into?
- Do you have any other suggestions for me or people I might contact to find out more?
- Dress Appropriately: you don’t have to wear a suit, but this may be a good opportunity to practice finding a look that can pass for business casual. If you have questions about what to wear, ask any student career assistant or staff member in the career center or google “business casual” for ideas.
- Bring a Pen and Writing Pad: this will allow you to take notes.
- Send a Thank You: make sure to pick up a free thank you card and envelope from the Career Center front desk. You also have the option to mail the thank you card yourself if the alum has provided a mailing address on the alumni directory or email the alum directly. Remember, you’re representing both Carleton and yourself, so please show the alum appreciation for his/her time. You’ll be in those shoes soon enough! (See tips for thank you notes.)