A-CAN (Alumni Career Advisory Network)
A-CAN is a growing group of alumni willing and ready to offer students advice in your job/internship search in their field or region of the world. (Nearly all alumni since 1997 are volunteers, plus about 300 from the earlier classes). They are a vital source for you to use in Career Exploration as you learn more about career options and how you fit into the professional world after IUJ! These volunteer alumni are usually not able to offer you jobs or internship. But they can provide
you some insight, help you network, explain the job prospect climate, etc. for you. For a list of A-CAN volunteers, see the green binder in the CC&S, or for an excel version that is searchable, access the Network Folder at iuj-home -> cc&s -> A-can folder
But read below first!
How to Use A-CAN
A-CAN is designed to help current students start networking, and to give them a "sempai" (upper classmate) to ask questions to beyond the services we offer on campus. Be prepared by researching ahead of time about the field and profession you are interested in, prepare a list of questions, then go to the A-CAN Volunteer database to see if anyone is appropriate to exchange information with. When you contact an IUJ Alum, please be courteous and professional. In a few years you will be an A-CAN volunteer, so think how you would like to be contacted when you are in the business world and busy.
If you cannot find an appropriate A-CAN volunteer from the current listings, CC&S will ask a non-volunteer to help you.
Informational Interview and A-CAN
Informational Interviews are one-on-one talks between current students and alumni. Alumni serve as "career advisors" to their "kohai," helping them to understand their profession as an informational resource. This is NOT a referral or a placement program. It is a support program to help job seekers:
- Learn their options in a broad career field
- Uncover new possibilities
- Gain insights into a career field
- Assist in focusing their search in that field
- Learn the jargon and issues in that field
Appropriate Questions: Advice to Students
You should have a list of questions prepared to ask the Alumni. You should have already researched the field or interest and several companies in that ield and should treat the informational interview like a professional interview session. You do not want to waste the lumni's time, nor abuse their volunteer spirit by being unprepared and asking questions you can easily look up in available resources - hard copy and online.
You can ask about the hiring practices and any advice the Alumni might have on entering their company. Do NOT ask them to find a job for you (if they volunteer that help great!). You can ask them about their profession in general, and in what ways you can build your resume NOW to help you get employed later: What courses at IUJ you should take, what skills you should develop while at IUJ, etc.
- What do employers at X company look for on a resume?
- What skills should I concentrate on at IUJ to prepare for a career in your field?
- What are the professional associations or online clubs associated with your field? Could I join now, as a graduate student preparing for a career in that field?
- What is your daily work load like?
- What starting salary should I expect in a similar role with my background.
- Do you see any dynamic developments in your field that I should be watching for?
- Would you recommend any related fields that I might pursue if something doesn't work out for me in this field?
- Is there someone you can recommend to me to contact for my job and internship hunt?
Be sure to send a Thank you letter to the Alumni. We want them to know how much we value their time as volunteers in this program. Remember, YOU TOO will be an A-CAN volunteer in the future. Please treat our alumni like you would like to be treated. Thank you!