Villanova’s “Career Connections” program is a resource to help students and alumni find insight into a particular career or career-related interest through online networking with other Villanovans. Career Connections provides you with the contact information for alumni who are interested in helping you on your journey of career exploration. Whether you are utilizing the database to explore options for your major, or you are starting the job search process, Career Connections can be a source of excellent information. Networking is perhaps the most powerful way to find a position and/or gain knowledge about a specific industry and with Career Connections you have an entire network of contacts at your fingertips. Click on the YouTube below to find out how to register and use the novaNetwork/Career Connections Database.
For more information on utilizing Career Connections, the NovaNetwork, and connecting with Villanova alumni, check out our instructional YouTube video below on how to use the systems.
Registering for and using the NovaNetwork/Career Connections Database
Use Career Connections to:
- Better understand career fields/industries
- Research a type of position or a specific organization.
- Learn about new opportunities/trends in certain industries.
- Begin and/or establish your very own network.
How to Login to Career Connections:
Career Connections is a part of the NovaNetwork through the Alumni Association. For students to search for a Mentor/Career Advisor:
- Go to www.villanova.edu/advance/alumni/ and click on "NovaNetwork".
- Click on "Register to use the NovaNetwork", fill in your name - leave the class year blank.
- Set up a username and password.
- Click on "Career Connections" and begin your search.
If you have any problems once you've taken these steps, please contact the Career Center at 610-519-4060 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
What Volunteers Have Agreed to Do:
Mentors have not agreed to find jobs for students, but to provide information and advice through their personal experiences as well as their knowledge of industries and positions. Mentors can still be a great link to future employers, as they are in the industry and may know of openings and/or additional people to speak with. Career Connections is really what you and the mentors make of it. Preparing and asking smart questions, doing research prior to the interview and following up with the contact will hopefully ensure that you get the most out of your conversation!
How to Arrange the Interview:
Contact the mentor according to their request – (i.e. by phone, email, or snail-mail) in order to set up a time to talk. If the contact would prefer to utilize email for correspondence be sure to give them some information about you in addition to asking questions regarding their industry. You could even attach your resume to your email as a means of introduction or ask them to look it over if you like.
If you are meeting the mentor in person, be on time and dressed appropriately. You are primarily responsible for the content of the informational interview, as it will be based on your questions and inquiries. Keep in mind you should ask your most important questions first, and stick to the agreed upon time specifications. It is also a good idea to ask the mentor if they can recommend anyone else to speak with, thus automatically expanding your network.
Possible Questions to Ask:
Once you have identified the reasons why you are seeking information and who to contact, formulate questions to ask the mentor. Below are some suggested questions:
- What is your educational and professional background?
- What do you like/dislike about your job and why?
- What types of companies/organizations might employ someone to do this type of work?
- How did you decide to get into the field and what steps did you take to enter the field?
- What should I do to best prepare myself for a job in this field?
- What suggestions do you have for someone wishing to enter this field?
- What skills and background are needed to get into this field?
- What is the salary range for a person in this field?
- What personal qualities do you feel are most important in your work and why?
- What are the tasks you do in a typical workday and could you describe them?
- What types of difficult issues/stress do you experience on the job?
- What are the most significant changes facing your field/organization?
- What are the trends/issues to be aware of in the field?
- What is the job outlook in this field?
- What related occupations might I investigate?
- Is advanced education beneficial in this field?
- Are there professional publications or organizations that I should be familiar?
- Can you recommend additional people for me to talk to?
Interested in Becoming a Mentor?
Go to www.alumni.villanova.edu and click on "Nova Network" to get started. You will first need to register with NovaNetwork, and then you will be able to create your profile in Career Connections.