The process of building relationships with fellow students, faculty, alumni and industry professionals is referred to as networking. Developing a strong professional network can be extremely helpful as you pursue your career goals. The individuals in your network can provide you with professional advice and share information about their personal career experiences. In some cases, your connections may be able to provide introductions and provide you with referrals.

Making Connections

Reaching out to an alumnus or an industry professional that you do not know can be intimidating. We recommend that you keep your outreach short and simple – introduce yourself, mention your reason for reaching out, and highlight your education at Taubman (especially if you are reaching out to alumni). If you reach out using the Taubman College Career Network, you can utilize messaging templates to help you craft your outreach. See the image below for an example. When reaching out, be sure to customize your message!

Building lasting relationships takes time – we recommend that you engage in the process throughout your time at Taubman College. Getting to know your new connection and building rapport with them makes it more likely that they can offer assistance in the long-term, such as sharing relevant jobs or internships, offering referrals, and making introductions.

Informational Interviewing

One method for building rapport is to ask your new connection to conduct an informational interview. This is typically a 15-30 minute conversation during which you can ask questions and learn from your new connection. You might ask questions about the following topics during an informational interview:

  • Specific career paths within Architecture, Urban Planning, Urban Design, or Urban Technology
  • Experience working for a specific employer
  • Tips for navigating the job and internship search process
  • General information about the industry

Whether you pose these questions via messages or during an informational interview, you will have an opportunity to learn from your new connection, while also providing them a chance to get to know you. An informational interview can set a strong foundation for a long-term professional relationship.

Avenues for Networking

The following resources can be used to build your professional network:

  • Taubman College Career Network
  • LinkedIn
  • Networking via Events, including:
    • Taubman College Networking Events
    • Guest Lectures and Presentations
    • Professional Conferences or Events

Networking Events

The Career & Professional Development team seeks to facilitate networking opportunities through the following events and programs:

  • Speed Networking
  • Portfolio Reviews
  • January Career Intensive
  • Career Trek Program

If you have questions about networking or would like to develop a strategy for networking based on your personal career goals and interests, please schedule an appointment with the Career & Professional Development team.

Was this article helpful?

Related Articles