The Case for Networking: CC Alumni Connect, Which Leads to a Dream Job
A Networking Story from Holly Moynahan (‘15) and Scott Jarrell (‘99)
As a student at CC, you’re exposed to some pretty interesting individuals that all share a similar background: like you, they’re students of Colorado College. They’re ambitious, creative, intelligent, adventurous, and passionate. But an important thing to remember is that CC has always had interesting, ambitious, creative, intelligent, adventurous, and passionate students– in all the years prior to your tenure on campus. CC’s community not only exists on campus; it spreads far and wide through its incredible alumni network.
That’s why when you first enter the working world after college, one of the greatest assets–and support systems–in your corner is your alumni network. This network can help you answer challenging questions about your career and life after CC. And CC alumni are friendly – don’t be shy! Tap into the CC network.
That’s what I did– when I first moved to Boston in 2016 with a newly minted Environmental Science degree from CC and a brand new job as an entry-level sustainability consultant, the first thing I did was research our alumni network for new friends since I knew only one person in Boston. But even beyond that, I sought out CC alumni in my industry, and alumni that I thought had interesting career paths that could share some advice on their success.
That is how I connected with Scott Jarrell. This past November, I was scrolling through Instagram and saw a post on the CC Career Center Instagram highlighting the “CC Executive in Residence” at the time, Scott Jarrell. Scott is a Charlotte, NC-based Partner at Ernst & Young LLP (EY) and is a data analytics professional seasoned in fraud detection and risk analytics. He serves as the Forensic Technology Leader at EY in the Carolinas and for the Financial Services industry. Although completely different from my career path of corporate sustainability consulting, I found what he does absolutely fascinating.
Despite our different career paths, I thought he would be an incredible person to know and gain insight on his background and how he ended up where he is today. I immediately reached out to him through Linkedin and told him my story, and that I would love to stay connected.
Scott replied with excitement: he told me he was thrilled to connect and provided me with his contact information – noting that I was welcome to reach out to him if I ever needed anything. I thrilled with his friendly, supportive response!
Flash forward to early February 2019, three years into my first job: a recruiter from EY reached out to me and suggested that I apply to a senior consultant position on EY’s Climate Change and Sustainability Services (CCaSS) team in Boston. I eagerly followed up and applied, recognizing what an amazing next step it would be for my career to join EY’s CCaSS group. Simultaneously, I reached out to Scott and told him I was applying to this job and hoped to ask him about the EY hiring process.
Scott happily obliged, and we spoke on the phone. Scott provided me with numerous tips, including suggested questions I could ask during the hiring process and what EY looks for in candidates. At the end of this conversation, he also said he would put in a good word for me with the Executive Director I was to interview with in person the next day!
I am grateful he did that, because the Executive Director, now one of my Supervisors at EY, mentioned that an EY Partner spoke highly of me–which undoubtedly gave me a leg up in the hiring process. Long story short, I landed the job and am now part of EY’s CCaSS group.
I am delighted I had the chance to speak with Scott and we both thought it would be great to share our networking story with the CC community. Networking is powerful! As I have experienced more than once, it can help you land the dream job you want.
So, how can you connect with other alumni?
Look up Tigers within a specific company, city, or industry via:
Now it’s your turn! Reach out to alumni – they are happy to help!
A couple of networking tips to get started:
- Come well prepared to a networking call! Bring thoughtful questions that show you’ve looked into the other person’s background (via Linkedin or a company website) and the work that they do. Remember the rule of thumb in networking: everyone loves talking about themselves, so set the stage with some great questions that allow the other person to really dive into their story!
- Try to pose your “ask”–whether about internship opportunities, job opportunities, connecting with other industry players, and the like– for the end of the conversation. It’s important to hear all about the person on the other line and show interest in who they are and then ask for help. Then, once you’ve created rapport, ask a thoughtful question you are hoping they can answer. This will lead to a more meaningful connection with the person.
- Try to connect on potential shared interests or background — and definitely ask the alumni about their CC experience! Who doesn’t love reminiscing?!
- Write a note when you invite an alumni– or any professional you don’t know well– to connect on Linkedin! They are much more likely to accept the Linkedin invitation to connect if they understand how you may know them or what your shared connection or interest may be.
- Understand that working professionals are limited on time, so they may not be able to chat for more than a half hour.
- Maintain contact with folks you meet — especially if any advice they provided led to a dream job! (Let them know! I promise they will be excited to hear about it!)
- Always follow up with a thank you note within 24 hours after speaking with an alumni!
Stay connected with Holly and Scott: