May 2024 Graduates - Complete this survey to share your post-graduate plan.

Expand Your Network

Networking is the process of making connections and building relationships. These connections can provide you with advice and contacts, which can help you make informed career decisions. Networking can even help you find unadvertised jobs/internships. Networking can take place in a group or one-on-one setting.

Networking is not simply an information exchange between you and another person. It involves building relationships with people who will often become your friends and professional colleagues as you advance your career. A networking contact might result in any of the following:

  • Insider information regarding your field of interest, such as an organization’s plan.
  • Job search advice specific to your field of interest, like where jobs are typically listed.
  • Tips on your resume and/or portfolio, along with advice on how to advance your career.
  • Names of people to contact about possible employment.
  • Information regarding industry trends.

To start, develop a list of contacts from the people that are closest to you:

  • Family, friends, roommates, and significant others
  • BSU faculty and staff, fellow students, and alumni
  • Past and present co-workers
  • Neighbors
  • Student club, sports team, and community group members
  • People at the gym, the local coffee house, and the neighborhood store
  • People in your faith community

These people are all part of your current network, professional and personal. Keep an on-going list of the names and contact information of the people in your network. Ask your contacts to introduce you to their contacts and keep your list growing (don’t forget to offer to reciprocate!). Opportunities to network with people arise at any time and any place. Never underestimate an opportunity to make a connection.

Stay in touch with your contacts through social media such as LinkedIn and regular check-ins such as holiday emails and semesterly updates.

Informational Interviewing

Once you have established networking contacts, your next action plan is to conduct informational interviews. An informational interview is an arranged in-person meeting, Zoom call, or telephone call with a person who works in a particular profession or organization that you are interested in learning more about. You are now interviewing the industry professional with the goal of gathering information about a specific job, field of interest, or company. You are not asking for a job, but simply gathering useful job search information. It’s a great way to research various careers and gain first-hand perspectives and insight from professionals.

Here are the six steps for conducting informational interviews:

Step 1: Identify career fields and people to interview. Conduct research on the career fields and a list of people to reach out. You can identify BSU alumni through LinkedIn or referrals from faculty and staff.

Step 2: Conduct an initial outreach to request a meeting. This can be done through LinkedIn or email.  Below is an example of an initial email to send to an industry professional.

 Dear Sara,

 I am reaching out to request an informational interview. Professor Jones suggested that I contact you to learn more about your experience working at Southcoast Health. I am a junior majoring in Biology at Bridgewater State University and am currently exploring various healthcare-related career options. After learning more about your background on LinkedIn, I noticed you have an impressive background in the healthcare sector, and I would love to have a 30-minute conversation with you if possible.  Please let me know if you are available for a Zoom or in-person meeting with me.  Attached is a copy of my resume for your reference.  Thank you in advance for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing back from you.


Mary Jacob

Step 3: Prepare for your informational interview. Practice your 30-second introduction and make a list of open-ended questions to ask.

What questions should I ask?

  • What is your educational background? What education and training are required to get a job in this field?
  • What skills/qualities do you think are necessary to be successful in the position?
  • What do you find most interesting or rewarding about the job?
  • What is the most challenging aspect of the position?
  • Are there opportunities for advancement?
  • What is the typical salary range in the position/field?
  • Is there anyone else who you think I should talk to? (Make sure to get their permission to use their name as a referral when contacting the person they have suggested.)

Step 4: Conduct the informational interview

For virtual sessions, prepare for the meeting and join the session a few minutes before the meeting. Treat this as if you are planning to go on a job interview. Dress professionally, and show your appreciation and enthusiasm.

For an in-person meeting, arrange for the meeting in a public space such as a coffee shop near their company location or at their company office. Avoid going to someone’s home office. Dress professionally, bring your list of questions, and take notes. Give a brief overview of yourself (30-second introduction), and be prepared to lead the conversation using your question list. Respect the person’s time. If the meeting goes well, ask the person if you may contact them again in the future with other questions and if they are willing to refer you to someone in their network for similar discussions.

Step 5: Follow up. Keep records and write down what you learned, what more you would like to know and next steps you plan to take. Send a thank-you note within 1-2 days to express your appreciate for the time and information given. Keep in touch with the person, especially if you had a particularly nice interaction. Here is a sample thank you note:

Dear Sara,

Thank you for meeting with me today to talk about your work at Southcoast Health. I now have a much better understanding of the healthcare sector, particularly with large healthcare businesses such as Southcoast. It was helpful to hear that there are many career paths students can take to pursue a career in healthcare. I have decided to take additional business classes and even explore a fall internship. I have also contacted your colleague, Stephen Jackson, in the outpatient unit to set up a meeting to speak with him. Thank you again for your time and advice. I hope to stay in touch with you.


Mary Jacob

Network with BSU Alumni and Industry Professionals on LinkedIn

LinkedIn is one of the most effective ways for you to connect with BSU alumni and industry professionals. To get started, your profile is the first thing your new connection will look at to form their first impression of you. Building out your profile is the best way to leave your new (and potential) connections with positive thoughts of you.

Here are a few pointers for you to start:

  • Customize your profile URL so it’s not just a series of random letters and numbers.
  • Make sure your profile photo is a professional-looking headshot where you look your best.
  • Fill out your profile with as much detailed information as you can without becoming long-winded and boastful.
  • Include personal recommendations from others, if possible.

Be sure to check out our LinkedIn Profile Development Checklist on how to develop an effective profile.

Once you complete your profile, feel free to schedule an appointment with a career advisor to go over your LinkedIn presence. When ready, explore BSU alumni via and conduct informational interviews. Happy Networking!

LinkedIn Profile Development Checklist

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Dress for Success – Business attire 101

What’s the best outfit to wear to a job interview? The answer will vary depending on the type of job and company you’re interviewing with. You always want to dress to make the best impression, but the outfit you choose …

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Career Resources

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Every year, the Career Services & Internship Program Office invites our employer partners to conduct corporate presentations on campus and …

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Contact & Location


Rondileau Student Union (RSU), Room 104
19 Park Avenue
Bridgewater, MA 02325

Career Service Hours

Monday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Tuesday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Wednesday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Thursday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Friday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm