How to ask an alum for help

Here's a true story. 

Savvy fraternity man sets his sights on getting into a pretty competitive pharmacy school. He gets elected to a leadership position in his chapter. He finds out one of the house corporation board alums is a pharmacy school grad - same university (yeah!).....and has created/sold multi million dollar drug research companies and also sits on the pharmacy school's alumnae board of directors. "I AM GOLDEN" he thinks. 

Then it dawns on him "How am I going to approach this alum to ask for advice? I have no idea how to ask him!"

Savvy fraternity man played it right.....and got into pharmacy school thanks to a great CPA and advice from this treasured alum. How did he do it?

He was polite and patient. Savvy fraternity man made the 'ask' very respectfully. You can do the same. Ask what time is convenient for the alum to talk, evening or weekend? What's the best way to connect?

He was prepared. What questions do you have? What exactly do you need? Feedback on your resume? Advice on courses to take? Do your homework.

Keep the alum in the loop. We love to hear how you're doing, what progress you've made and how our conversations helped you.

Prepare, be gracious and stay connected when you ask for help.


Kristin Wing is President of GreekGab, a resource for members alumni and advisors to build sustainable chapters. 


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