At the end of my junior year, I heard about the UCAN program that Michigan’s Career Center offers. UCAN is basically a service that lets you search a database of UM Alums based on cities, careers, or relative interest. These are alums who have said they’re interested in helping current students, and they truly mean it! They’re just waiting for you to get in touch. You can also see a list of things they especially want to help you with, whether it’s interview prep, applying to grad school, or making the most of your time at Michigan. Since I was in a new city this summer, I decided to try it out! All you have to do is message someone you’re interested in talking to and propose a few times that you can meet. While I choose to mainly talk to people in Seattle, you can arrange a phone conversation with anyone, anywhere.
Ultimately, I ended up meeting with two people in-person, and one phone call. I can honestly say that these conversations were meaningfully and gave me a lot of insight into what I was asking them. In my first call, I asked the alum what jobs she’d recommend at her company based on my skill set. This was helpful for me because while I know what I like to do, I’m not always sure what that looks like as a career. I think these are the types of questions alums are best at answering too! Following the call, I had two in-person meetings. The first meeting I met with someone who had recently graduated and was living in Seattle. Your conversations with the alums don’t always have to be strictly work related, and she loved offering me a bucket list of things to do in Seattle before I leave. It was also nice to hear from someone who had recently graduated and successfully found a job. The last in-person meeting I had was with an alum who is established in her career as a lawyer. As I am considering grad school, it was great being able to talk to someone who has successfully navigated the process and see if law school is a good fit for me.
Overall, if you’re having any questions about your career or the city you’re going to be interning at, I highly recommend UCAN! Everyone on there is super helpful and would love if you’d reach out!