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30 Minutes: Information for Students

The 30 Minutes program brings students interested in a specific job or industry face-to-face with alumni experienced in that field. In just half an hour (hence the name), Carleton networking magic happens.

General Information

Carleton students from any class year can sign up via The Tunnel to meet on campus or via Skype in the career center with Carleton Alumni/Parents who are in fields of interest to them.  These half-hour conversations are similar to informational interviews and provide an easy way to become more familiar with the networking process.  Students are in charge of coming up with questions for the alums/parents, and might ask questions such as

  • What is a typical work day like in your profession?
  • What are the biggest challenges and rewards of your job?
  • What are some of the ways to find out more about or to get experience in your field?

A Few Tips and Requests

  • If you need to cancel, please be considerate and either cancel your appointment in The Tunnel or notify the Career Center in a timely fashion so that another student has a chance to take your place.
  • Pay attention to your email in case a last-minute cancellation brings you up from the waitlist!  If you really, really want to find out if there is a last-minute opening, you might email or come in person to the Career Center—sometimes opportunities go to those who are in the right spot at the right time!

Preparing for your 30 Minutes Interview

  • DO YOUR RESEARCH:  read the bio provided and google the alum/parent and/or the company.  This is the same kind of preparation you would go through for a job interview.
  • BRING QUESTIONS:  think about what YOU really want to know.  In addition to questions about typical work days, challenges and rewards and ways to get your foot in the door, you might ask
  1. How did you first get into the field?  How did you find your way to this position?
  2. What kinds of background, experience or education do people need to do well in this kind of job?
  3. What does a typical career path look like in your industry?
  4. What do you like most about what you do, and what would you change if you could?
  5. How do you keep up with developments in your field?  What kinds of resources, journals or websites would you suggest I look into?
  6. Do you have any other suggestions for me or people I might contact to find out more?
  7. You can find more questions here.  
  • DRESS APPROPRIATELY:  you don’t have to wear a suit, but this is a good opportunity to practice finding a look that can pass for business casual.  If you have questions about what to wear, ask any career assistant or staff member in the career center or google “business casual” for ideas.
  • BRING SOMETHING TO WRITE ON AND SOMETHING TO WRITE WITH
  • BE ON TIME:  be at least 5 minutes early if possible.  This is good practice for getting to a job interview.
  • SEND A THANK YOU:  make sure to pick up a free thank you card and envelope from the Career Center front desk.  You can either mail the card yourself if the alum/parent has provided a mailing address, or bring it back to the Career Center for mailing.  You can either handwrite a note or email the alum if they have agreed to communicate via email.  You’re representing both Carleton and yourself, so please show the alum/parent appreciation for his/her time.  You’ll be in those shoes soon enough!  See tips for thank you notes at ?????
  • CONTACT THE CAREER CENTER ASAP IF YOU CANNOT ATTEND:  alums/parents often have waiting lists of students who want to talk to them, so please let us know as soon as possible if you have a scheduling conflict.  If it’s days before the interview, you can cancel yourself in the Tunnel.  If it’s the day before or day of, PLEASE call or email Sarah Rechtzigel at (x4296) so that we can make schedule adjustments.
Career Center pages maintained by Sarah Rechtzigel
This page was last updated on 24 April 2014