Stories + Advice

How to Sustain a Relationship Past the Initial Meeting (ft. Eagle Exchange)

“Thank you so much for taking the time to connect with me today, and I look forward to chatting again soon!” You hang up the phone and excitedly begin to draft a thank you note. Your first networking call was a huge success! The person you spoke with was very helpful, and you are interested in reaching out to them again in the future. But how does one actually do this? When is it appropriate to reach out to my new connection again? What is the best way to maintain a professional relationship?

First and foremost, congratulations on navigating the networking call. By logging into Eagle Exchange and connecting with a Boston College alumnus, you have successfully taken the first step towards finding a mentor, learning about a new career path, or participating in an alumni project. Making initial contact with someone can be a daunting task, so it is important to recognize this accomplishment. But the next thing you might be wondering is, “When should I reach out to my new connection again?”

When to Reach Out After the Initial Meeting

Although you are probably eager to hop on the phone with your new connection as soon as possible, it is important to recognize that these people are working professionals and have very busy schedules. We recommend that you let 1-3 months go by before reaching out to your connection again. As much as they enjoyed getting to know you, they likely do not want to see your emails popping up in their inbox every week. (Don’t worry, it isn’t personal)

What to Say When You Reach Out

In general, we recommend that you reach out to contacts again if something significant has happened since the last time you spoke, or if there is a specific update that you wanted to give them. Some things you could bring up are updates in a recruiting process, new relevant jobs/internships, or questions you have thought of since the last time you spoke. A good example would be:

“Hi [insert name]. I hope all is well! I wanted to provide you with an update in my recruiting process. Since we last spoke, I applied to your company’s internship and was just notified that I have been selected for a first-round interview. I wanted to thank you again for all the guidance you have provided me up until this point. I would love to find a time to chat about what the interview process looks like and if you have any other tips you have that can help me stand out as an applicant. I appreciate your time, and I look forward to hopefully speaking soon!”

Or perhaps during the call, your contact recommended a specific club for you to join on campus. In that case, you could say:

“Hi [insert name]. I hope all is well! I wanted to reach out and let you know I was accepted into [insert club name]. I am so excited to participate, and I wanted to thank you again for recommending me to the club. I appreciate your help, and look forward to chatting again soon.”

Not all follow up emails need to be asking the other person to jump on the phone. Sometimes a simple update about a new achievement every once in a while is enough to maintain the relationship and make sure that they do not forget about you.

Next Steps

Congratulations! You are now an expert in sustaining professional relationships past the initial meeting. Now the only thing left for you to do is to get out there and continue to establish lasting relationships. As previously mentioned, Eagle Exchange is a great resource available to students for reaching out to Boston College alumni. So if you haven’t already, make an account, and let the networking begin! As always, if you have any questions the Career Coaches and staff at the Career Center are here to help. We look forward to hearing about all the great connections you make!

– By Alexander Simon, CSOM ’24, Peer Career Coach

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