Networking through informational interviews (also known as curiosity conversations, office hours, alumni career conversations, etc.) is all about connecting with others who share similarities with you–whether it’s being a Swattie to having similar career interests, this is an effective tool to learn about career pathways.

Its purpose isn’t to “schmooze” your way into an offer; rather it’s to identify people in your network (Swarthmore, personal, etc) who you can call upon for their knowledge. It’s up to you to apply that knowledge to make sure your application materials are competitive for that industry, organization or job function.

Conversation topics include:

  • Answers to specific questions
  • Career advice
  • Insight about a job or internship announcement you’ve seen posted
  • Tips on how to gain experience or break into their line of work


A group of people working together sitting at a table with their laptops.

Where to Network

Use LinkedIn and SwatLink to research and contact alumni to learn about career paths.

Someone explaining something both looking at a computer screen.

How to Initiate Contact

Once you’ve identified alumni to connect with, email them to set up informational interviews. Info interviews should be used to learn about career paths, gain knowledge in a specific industry, organization, or job function; they aren’t used strictly for the purpose of “getting a job.” The info you gain from informational interviews should be used to better inform you on how to best prepare your application materials!

woman on a headset talking to someone

What to Ask During the Curiosity Conversation or Informational Interview

Before speaking with the individual, learn what you can about the contact/alum and their place of work. Develop a list of open-ended questions that will help you achieve your goal of the conversation.

man using his phone and computer responding to a message

After the Curiosity Conversation or Informational Interview

Make sure to send a “thank you” email letting your contact know you’re grateful for the time and info they shared with you. If you haven’t connected with them on LinkedIn yet, this would be an opportune time to do that as well. As your plans start to develop, keep them posted–your contacts like to know that their info helped lead you to an offer!


For years, we have heard from students eager to connect with alumni who have shared interests or experiences, but often aren’t sure where to look or how to start. Or, they worry that the person they want to reach out …

By Claire Klieger
Claire Klieger Assistant Vice President & Executive Director
Read more

How to Find Your People on SwatLink

Once you set up your profile and have identified what you potentially want to support with, another core feature of SwatLink is the ability to search for alumni and other peers. There are currently over 300 alumni who come from …

By Andres Perez Correa
Andres Perez Correa Marketing & Engagement Coordinator
Read more

Getting Started With SwatLink: How to Set Up Your Profile to Optimize Your Platform Experience 

Hopefully you’re excited to try our new alumni mentoring and connection platform, SwatLink. Once you log in, the best way to get started is by setting up your profile. The information you include in your profile helps the platform work …

By Andres Perez Correa
Andres Perez Correa Marketing & Engagement Coordinator
Read more

Psychology Alumni Panel: 3 Main Takeaways

On March 27th, Swarthmore Psychology alumni and students gathered on Zoom to discuss their path in psychology and their careers after Swarthmore. Alumni panelists were asked what they did during their time at Swarthmore, how to decide on grad school, …

By Sofia Perez Barrios
Sofia Perez Barrios Career Fellow
Read more

How to Spot Job and Internship Scams

Money scammers have found a new lucrative home – the job and internship seeker. Throughout the past academic year alone, thousands of fraudulent job offers and part-time employment scams have targeted the Swarthmore student community.  With increasingly sophisticated and effective methods …

By Claire Klieger
Claire Klieger Assistant Vice President & Executive Director
Read more

Employer & Interview Insights

Build Skills

Swarthmore & External Resources

The College is upgrading the Swarthmore Alumni Online Community! The new Alumni Portal will offer advanced networking features and opportunities …

Swarthmore College’s Black Cultural Center (BCC) strives to critically engage students whose educational, intellectual, and personal interests include issues of …

Swarthmore Alumni Council: Career Conversations

Students are encouraged to reach out to the following Alumni Council members. The Council members are happy to chat with …

Networking 101 Guide

Contact & Location

(610) 328–8352

500 College Ave.
Parrish Hall 135
Swarthmore, PA 19081

Career Service Hours

Monday 8:30 am – 4:30 pm
Tuesday 8:30 am – 4:30 pm
Wednesday 8:30 am – 4:30 pm
Thursday 8:30 am – 4:30 pm
Friday 8:30 am – 4:30 pm

Office closed daily from 12–1pm for lunch.