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Whether it’s to gain information, develop skills, obtain a job or internship, or build professional relationships, connecting with Stanford alumni is an essential part of your career journey. 

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Below are three key ways you can effectively establish these connections.

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Stanford Alumni Mentoring (SAM)

Many Stanford alumni enthusiastically volunteered to be in the SAM network because they are excited to provide students and recent graduates with advice from their own career journeys. These alums are eager to pass along what they have learned and are happy to engage in career conversations.


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Informational Interviewing

Informational Interviewing is conversation with professionals to learn about occupations, industries, and companies. Through these conversations, you gain an insider’s perspective and establish professional connections. Use SAM, the Stanford Alumni Directory and LinkedIn to identify alumni to interview.

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Job Shadowing

By spending part of the work day with someone in your field of interest, you can get a first-hand look at the skills, knowledge, and experience needed. After a relationship has been established through programs such as SAM, many professionals are willing to host students at their workplace – it’s just up to you to ask. For pre-med students, check out SiMS course to shadow physicians in nearby hospitals.

 Pillar details, Encina Hall. Credit: Andrew Brodhead /