Tell me, fellow transfer student, does this sound like you? You made it to Haas, but you feel like an imposter. You didn’t get an internship at JPStanley or Morgan Freeman this summer, you didn’t get into any clubs, and you latched onto a career goal because you felt you had to, but aren’t sure if it’s right for you. Worry not, friend. Here at Haas, we’ve got a golden goose. In fact, we’ve got a whole flock of golden geese. It’s been right under our noses since the moment we stepped on campus. For four easy payments of semester tuition, you too can have access to professors and faculty.

Jokes aside, the best networking opportunities, emotional support, and career advice informed by real-world experience that I’ve received, has come from our very own professors, lecturers, and faculty. Go to the Haas Faculty page, pick someone at random, and look at their bio. Can you imagine reaching out to someone with that kind of experience on LinkedIn and getting a reply, much less feedback and attention motivated by genuine compassion and a desire to see you, as a unique individual, succeed? An in-person coffee chat? Our professors realized their dreams, maybe beat capitalism or figured out who they are along the way, and then they came back to impart their wisdom on us wee little bears.

There are years of grateful graduates that are more than happy to pay it forward by helping us out, and an introduction from their favorite professor is a great way to get in touch. Some faculty have worked here for over a decade. Where do you think a bear that graduated ten years ago is now? Haas graduates in all stages of their career have been where we are. If it’s sensible, maybe you can get in touch and learn about what they do. More likely, you’ll be introduced to more recent graduates that have a better understanding of where you are now.

Here is my step-by-step guide for finding a mentor that makes you the envy of students across the country:

  1. Head over to the Haas Faculty Page.
  2. Click “Affiliation,” and in the drop-down menu that appears, choose the area that most aligns with your interests. If you want to narrow it down even more, enter some keywords into the search bar.
  3. Scroll through the results. Check out the gray text under each name and open a new tab for anyone you think might be able to help you.
  4. Look through their bios, and find the professors and faculty whose experience resonates with you.
  5. Reach out. Introduce yourself, explain why you’re interested in them specifically. Ask if they have time to talk, or in the case that they are too busy, if they can point you in the direction of some other resources that might help you.
  6. Some professors and faculty might be too busy to respond, but don’t take it personally. If they do offer to chat, virtually or otherwise, follow through.
  7. Whether it is for advice and resources, conversation, or even for reading your email, thank them, always. 

Speaking with professors and faculty has led me to a feeling of being supported, an internship I love, the tools I needed to get another internship opportunity this summer. It has inspired ideas and questions that continue to expand my sense of self, and have given me the opportunity to hear some pretty wild stories from past and present that have cast my mentors in a different light. Give it a shot. You won’t regret it.

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