I also think LinkedIn can be a great tool, when using LinkedIn and reaching out to people, try to filter by people you might have a mutual connection with; for instance maybe someone who went to your school or has a shared interest. Once I find someone on LinkedIn, I usually cold email them, personalizing that email based on the similarities I found on their LinkedIn profile and things I want to learn from them specifically. For the most part, companies follow the email format [firstname.lastname @ company . com], but this might vary, do some online research.
In the email, I'd introduce myself briefly and then offer some times I am available (during business hours), saying I'd love to speak either over phone call or zoom.
I wouldn't recommend sending a LinkedIn connection request cold, since that person likely has no reason to accept it. However, they might be inclined to accept after you send them an email and have a conversation.
When people do agree to connect, bring perspective and come prepared, and try to make the discussion mutually beneficial. Final piece of advice: be assertive, be curious, and don't be afraid to ask questions. These are critical skills that will also help you prepare for a career in consulting.
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Fang recommends the following next steps:
Hope this helps!
I see there's a lot of great answers here and inputs from different people and backgrounds. I thought of sharing some insights and add to the above points. There's no one single effective technique for consulting, often it is combination of things- connecting with professionals, alumni and experts in-person during career fairs, seminars etc writing a cold message, email to get acquainted with the person if you can't meet them further adding them on LinkedIn with personalized note, connecting them over call and meeting them for a coffee sort of naturally building the personal rapport. Even If you don't end up meeting the specific person they might able to help you with an introduction to the person closely aligning your domain.
Networking is all about value addition and does not end when your needs are met, it has more to do with relationship building by getting to know in depth- their career path, interests, passion, etc...and sharing relevant thoughtful articles, videos, discussing doubts or concerns and even helping in any way possible if you could.
Further I would point to this book for further reading, this helped me during college with networking:
I wish you all the best!
It looks like you've already gotten some great answers to your question. I would also say that there are still a lot of virtual conferences or webinars happening where you are able to attend for free, or low cost. They always have networking options running in the chats or within another page. You could connect with the speakers on LI, and mention in your message that you saw them speak at xxx. Or you can connect with other attendees and again, mention that you were an attendee as well.
Best of luck!
LinkedIn is great tool to use for what you're trying to accomplish. When linking or sending a message, try to:
1. Be crystal clear with your ask (i.e. I'm looking to gain insight in the consulting field to see if I want to pursue this as a career)
2. Make it a lot about them. This is your chance to ask questions and listen (almost like a student and a professor). Plus, most people like talking about themselves and their journey.
3. Give them a timeframe and stick to it - leave it up to them if they want to meet in person or for coffee - either way, only take 20-30 minutes of their time.
4. If they say yes (yay!) prepare some questions ahead of time (i.e. what's a typical day look like? what did you major in during college? do you need a graduate level degree for this work? how did you land your first job? what do you like/don't you like about the position? etc.)
5. Lastly, if you had a great conversation, and the contact was open and happy to chat, you may want to ask "do you know anyone else in your network that would be willing to talk with me?" and that's how you grow your circle!
M. Elysia’s Answer
Here are some specific tips for reaching out to people on LinkedIn:Personalize your message: When sending a connection request or a message on LinkedIn, be sure to personalize it to the recipient. Mention something you have in common, such as a shared interest or experience, or reference something specific from their profile or recent activity. Be clear and concise: Keep your message short and to the point. Be clear about why you are reaching out and what you hope to gain from the connection.
M. Elysia recommends the following next steps:
Samantha M’s Answer
Even though it might initially seem to be for your benefit or to be about you, ultimately you need them, so the focus should really be on them as well as on you.