If you’re going to contact alumni…

Now I’m not perfect and I’ve made my fair share of mistakes but have people forgot common courtesies and manners? In the past….1 week I’ve got about 8 or so requests from 1st years asking about my experience with IBM, resume reviews, helping them prep for interviews with IBM, or just general information requets.

I’m happy to do this. I enjoy helping others. I enjoy talking about myself šŸ˜›Ā  And in the long run the more successful Rotman ppl are, the better it is for me as well. And in general its just a nice thing to do. But in general, if you’re going to ask someone for help. Theres a few things you should not do.

For instance:

  1. Do not Tell them what to do. Ask. And ask nicely.
  2. You don’t have to use the word ‘please’. But asking if they ‘could’ or ‘would’ is much nicer.
  3. Don’t send me your resume in the first email. I don’t know you, I haven’t agreed to anything, and I’m busy myself.
  4. Don’t paste in your cover letter in the email…refer to #3
  5. Don’t ask me for a job. I don’t know you. I’m not going to risk my reputation on someone I know nothing about. And really, I hold no power anyways.
  6. Oh and related to #1, don’t dictate to me when to meet. You’re asking me, I’ll state when I’m available. You know someone actually emailed me at 1am saying they wanted to meet for lunch. And they wanted me to review their resume too. This would have been for a Friday. I don’t even have class on Friday! I did respond to them….on Sunday. And sat down and helped them out but I ppl are already getting interviews and they just applied….I don’t see them getting it…I didn’t tell them that though…I don’t think that would be nice.
  7. Follow-up and let me know how it goes. The ppl I met with did say thank you at the end. The ppl that had questions that I emailed responses to…only 1 person thanked me. You know, I invest a bit of my time to help, it’d just be nice to hear back how things went.
  8. Oh and 1 more thing. Prepare. Come with some questions. Don’t just come and waste my time.

Thats all. For now.

Oh I would like to say, as negative as all that sounds. Its really a few ppl that make it feel worse than it is. And its mostly the email communication skills. In person people are generally more polite and appreciative.

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8 responses to “If you’re going to contact alumni…

  1. Manners are always a good thing! Always!

  2. you tell ’em ahmed!

    and i mean it.. before u start helping them out.. eg helping them with resumes, i hope you sat down with them and told them how unrealistic their expectations were?

  3. This reminds me of a girl who emailed me her essay because she read on my blog that I’m an English teachers. Doesn’t mean I read essays for fun!

  4. I am laughing at Liya’s comment.

    Thanks for this, Ahmed.

  5. Ruby: I agree!

    isheeta: The rude ones I just waited a few days to respond to until I had more free time. And the one girl that emailed in the middle of the night..I would have told her but she came late (can you believe that!) to a group meeting I had with a bunch of others so I didn’t say anything, but then didn’t really spend extra time with her afterwards.

    liya: haha, thats pretty funny! Creative writing I think would be fun to read. But essays…I think I’d just get annoyed at people that can’t put together a clear and logical argument.

    Haleem: šŸ™‚

  6. I get asked by people all the time to edit their papers…about 3-4 hours before it’s due. Umm, how about I’m not always at my c omputer and may possibly rushing to finish my own? But there are always the good people too. Hope you run into more of those!

  7. Life is like that He!He!He!
    I am only one; but I am still one. I cannot do everything, but I can still do something. I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.

  8. aka: haha at rushing to finish your own! I can totally relate to that part hehe. And thanks, hope ppl appreciate what you’re doing for them šŸ™‚

    zingtrial: As long as you take time for yourself too šŸ™‚

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