Foundations for Success

Find a College You Like? Interview Students & Alumni.

How to interview students and alumni at colleges you're interested in attendingEver hear the phrase, “Heard it straight from the horse’s mouth”?

Of course that just means getting information directly from the source.

There’s no better way to inform your college degree decision than by talking to people who know—enrolled students and graduates.

Think of talking to current students and alumni as conducting what’s known in the job search world as an “informational interview.”

By seeking the insiders’ point of view, you can:

  • Get a reality check on what you think you know about the college or degree program
  • Learn some things you don’t already know
  • Expand your professional network
  • Achieve clarity about your decision

Keep in mind that most people—whether you know them well or not—are willing to help if they can. Your interview should be at their convenience and last no longer than 30 minutes. Explain what you’d like to learn and then go into well prepared. And, of course, follow up with a thank-you note afterwards.

Here’s a list of 9 essential questions to get you started:

  1. Was (degree program) or (college or university name) your first choice? Why or why not?
  2. Why did you choose it?
  3. In your opinion, what is the best and worst thing about (degree program) or (college or university name)?
  4. What do/did you find most beneficial? Least?
  5. What do you know now about (degree program) or (college or university name) that you wish you’d known before?
  6. What do you think I should consider before making my decision? Why?
  7. In your opinion, what kind of person would do well (in that degree program) or (at that college or university)?
  8. I am most interested in _______. Do you think I’ll find it here?

If you had one piece of advice for me on this topic, what would it be?

If you’ve got more questions about going back to college, we’d love to talk with you. Get in touch here!

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