During your college search, there are quite a few things you should be doing including research into various schools, visiting the campus, and talking to students and representatives. One step some students forget about though is talking to alumni from that particular college. Your best bet is to talk to people who graduated in your intended field too, but it’s not absolutely necessary.
Here are some good questions to ask alumni:
What is the College’s Personality?
All colleges have a personality, a sort of vibe or culture. Some may not be suited to what you’re used to or are looking for in a school. Alumni are the best ones to give this answer. Is it more of a party school than you believed, for example? They can tell you if the college is relaxed, high strung, best suited for a particular kind of personality, or something else.
What Did You Think of the Classes?
Asking “What did you think of the classes?” is a great question, both for current students and alumni. However, if you’re talking to a graduate from your intended field, they’ll be able to give you the details on the more difficult courses you will be taking in your junior and senior years.
Make sure to ask about the workload, professors, if there are any courses they recommend or any other details you may want to hear about when it comes to academics. Their answers may spark new questions.
How Did This College Help You Prepare for Your Job and Field?
This is a multilayered question that can be answered quite a number of ways, including how fast they found a position, how the school assisted, and if attending this particular college really provided a leg up for their field and career.
Everyone’s experience with finding a job will be different, as every field has different positions and every person has varying personalities and career goals. Try also using more in-depth questions such as if they used any of the school’s career services or any classes in particular that taught must-have information that made the difference in their career.
Is There Any Other Advice You Can Give Me Regarding This College?
You’ll be talking to alumni from your prospective college about a number of things, from career rates in their field to why they chose the school. Every student will ask different questions. However, this gives you a chance for alumni to answer questions you didn’t ask. They may have advice that is worth hearing, even if you didn’t think of it prior. This advice may even be from questions previous students have asked over the years.
The questions listed above are only four examples of things you’ll want to ask while talking to a college’s alumni. You will absolutely want to create your own list of questions to ask them. After all, it’s your college career! The information they provide can give great insight into whether or not this college is the one for you.
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