When I first started on LinkedIn, it was easy
I was a junior in High School and everybody wanted to help high school students
I used LinkedIn Answers
This is a discontinued feature that I used ALL the time. You ask questions and professionals answer you. As a high school student, this made me pretty popular
I'd ask a lot of questions
How to take advantage of high school? What career path would I be good for? And the answers rolled in. Many reached out to try to be a mentor
At USC, my strategy changed
LinkedIn answers was gone, but the USC network was here
Look for alumni in your field
USC had a strong, loyal alumni base. LinkedIn search made it REALLY easy. Just search for a job title and click your school under the school filter
Hit them with a personalized email or message
Emails are easy to find nowadays. Do you research and explain BRIEFLY why they should spend some time with you. Mention commonalities that you have.
Thank them for their time
No matter if they have the time to help you or not, thank them. Everybody is busy.
Finding alumni still works
But since you can't say you're a student, it's harder to get them to say yes. Events tend to be a better way
Alumni events, industry events, conferences
Alumni events are great because you get a diverse background. I always choose conferences and events carefully. Know who shows up and why
Go into every event with a plan
What's your goal for the event? Why? Start with a goal and go achieve it.
The most powerful way to find a mentor is through an intro. People who know you best also know who might be a great mentor for you.
LinkedIn tells you your mutual connections
Just search and filter for 2nd degree connections.
Mentors have been a magical part of my life
I hope they will be part of yours too!