Informational Interviewing and Finding Michigan Alumni on LinkedIn

The range of non-traditional opportunities available to humanities PhDs can feel overwhelming. A good first step is surveying paths that other students have taken. Resources likes the Versatile PhD, Imagine PhD, or sites like Columbia’s Non-Academic Career Options for PhDs in the Humanities and Social Sciences provide a examples for thinking about what type of work, specialist field, or employer merits further consideration.

But how to find out more?

A good piece of advice that comes up in discussions about post-graduation planning is conducting informational interviews. These are opportunities to develop your knowledge about a job or workplace and see if it could be a good fit for you. The University of Michigan Career Center has helpful resources to brush up on what an informational interview is and suggests some questions to ask.

Once you’ve found a job that sounds interesting and have a few questions, one way to find people who could answer those questions is through LinkedIn.

LinkedIn describes itself as the “world’s largest professional network with more than 546 million users in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide.” It allows you to search alumni by where they live, what they do, what they’re skilled at, and when they graduated. The video below describes how to find University of Michigan alumni on LinkedIn. With one of the world’s largest alumni networks, there’s a good chance that another Wolverine can give you some advice or share their perspective.