DePaul University Career Center's Blog

Building Meaningful Connections through Informational Interviews and Networking

by Ira Deshmukh

In today’s fast-paced professional landscape, building meaningful connections is often touted as a vital ingredient for career success. It’s not just about what you know, but also about who you know. Two powerful tools in your arsenal for establishing these connections are informational interviews and networking. These approaches can significantly amplify your understanding of industries, job roles, and potential career paths while also fostering relationships that might prove invaluable down the line.

Informational Interviews: Delving into Insights

Imagine you’re a marketing student with dreams of working in the digital marketing sphere. You’ve been studying various concepts in your classes, but you’re curious about how these theories apply in real-world scenarios. Through an informational interview, you connect with a seasoned digital marketing professional. During the interview, you get to ask questions like:

  • What are the most important skills for success in digital marketing?
  • Could you share a challenge you faced in a recent campaign and how you overcame it?
  • How do you see the future of digital marketing evolving?

The insights you gain from this conversation go beyond classrooms. They offer practical perspectives, helping you align your studies with the demands of the industry. Additionally, by showing your genuine interest in their experiences, you create a memorable impression that could lead to further connections or even potential job referrals.

Networking: Forging Professional Relationships

Let’s say you’re attending a university career fair where representatives from various companies are present. Instead of going booth to booth, collecting brochures, imagine engaging in a conversation with a representative from a company you’re genuinely intrigued by, you inquire about their company culture, the types of roles they’re hiring for, and any advice they have for aspiring professionals.

After the conversation, you connect with them on LinkedIn, mentioning how much you enjoyed your talk. Over time, you continue engaging with their posts, maybe even sharing some relevant industry news. This nurtures a genuine relationship that could lead to mentorship, internship opportunities, or even a direct connection to their HR team when you’re ready to apply for a job.

The Symbiotic Relationship

Consider this: You’ve been engaging in informational interviews with professionals from your desired field. One of these professionals works at a company you’ve always admired. You connect well during the interview, and they offer to introduce you to more people in their network who share your interests. What was once just an informational interview has now turned into a potential pathway into a wider network!

In conclusion, the power of informational interviews and networking lies in their ability to transform your career trajectory. They provide insights, knowledge, and connections that can’t be replicated through research alone. By utilizing these approaches strategically and authentically, you can tap into a world of opportunities while building relationships that will serve you well throughout your professional journey.


The Career Center website has a wonderful curation of resources to address any career concerns such as these. Find more here

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