How do I network by e-mail in a business environment? I am a student.
August 22, 2012 9:27 AM   Subscribe

How do I stay in touch with people that I meet at networking events at my school and in the Atlanta area (I go to Georgia State)?

I met a manager at Ernst & Young the other day and I'm struggling with how I should stay in touch without being annoying but also set myself up to get an internship with them this summer (or spring). My GPA is nearly 4.0 and they do recruit from my school so it should be a possibility.

Also a related question, how can I gain further contacts in business apart from networking events? I thought of cold calling/e-mailing using contact information from their websites but any advice on the best way to approach these people would be helpful. I'm leaning towards IT Auditing or Internal Audit but really I am open to anything since I have never worked in any of these fields. Thanks.
posted by locussst to Work & Money (7 answers total)
posted by mattbucher at 9:29 AM on August 22, 2012 [2 favorites]

Your career service should be your friend here, they can sit down with you and talk to you what to do. Looks like they have good workshops and sample emails to write. But this is what I've learned:

Send an a quick follow up e-mail to the manager. If he asks you questions, keep the convo going. Tell him your interest in interning and ask him what you should do to be prepared. Ask if there's anyone else there (especially from your school, or have your interests)

If he doesn't respond with questions, but he did respond enthusiastically, send another follow up no less than a month later (or closer to January when interviews might start, ask him how you should apply). I feel like that's a good time not to be annoying.

Your career services should have a career networking site, where you can search for people who have volunteered themselves for networking. You can find people there. I feel that the alumni thing is a very strong way to for connections. It makes it less of a cold call. Good luck! You are way ahead of your peers (as long as you have some decent social/interviewing skills).
posted by sandmanwv at 9:34 AM on August 22, 2012 [1 favorite]

Add them as contacts on LinkedIn and simultaneously send them emails saying you were glad to meet them (mention something specific you talked about, and mention the date/location you met them at) and that you look forward to talking with them in the future. Use your school email address, make sure that your email (fonts, signature, etc.) is super professional, and have a link to your resume in your signature. Don't point it out, just have it there. If you have an online portfolio, use that link instead of the resume link.

And get thee to your career services office for every last bit of networking help you can POSSIBLY acquire.
posted by SMPA at 9:50 AM on August 22, 2012

Go Panthers! Of course, when i was there for Grad school there was no football team.

With the manager, try to set up a 30-45 minute chat over coffee. That will give you ample time to ask questions, and him ample time to take a shine to you and decide to try to help your chances of getting an internship.

For other contacts, don't get hung up just on networking events. The guy sitting next to you at a bar or a Braves game could be the head of internships for EY, or Accenture, or whatever. Take an interest in the people around you in day to day life. Also, don't forget family and friends. They may not be in a position to directly help you, but odds are they know somebody who is.
posted by COD at 9:51 AM on August 22, 2012

When I was on MARTA, coming back from the airport, I ran into a GM executive. We talked until I got off at Brookhaven. Talk to everyone, you never know. LinkedIn is great and they have groups. The Roswell United Methodist church has a fantastic Employment ministry (and aside from the name and location) isn't churchy at all. They have a group on LinkedIn. Their events are really good.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 10:12 AM on August 22, 2012

Create a profile on LinkedIn. This is exactly what it's for. When you invite someone to connect, do them a favour and remind them HOW THEY KNOW YOU. "I really appreciated the time you gave me when we met at Blah Blah event and I'd like to connect on Linked on" or "It was great to meet you at Starbucks, I'd love to connect on LinkedIn" is entirely sufficient and suitable to the nature of the network.
posted by DarlingBri at 10:15 AM on August 22, 2012

I agree with the advice to create a LinkedIn profile, with the caveat that my own contacts on my semi-professional Twitter account are *much* higher quality than my contacts on LinkedIn, and I would contact them much more readily because I feel like I know them better, due to the continually fresh nature of the site. I do maintain presences on both sites though. YMMV depending on industry; I'm a software engineer in SF.
posted by tantivy at 2:18 PM on August 22, 2012

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