An informational interview is a conversation with a professional from your field who can offer insight into a company, position or career. They can be from HR, recent graduates or OSU alumni — anyone who can serve as a connector in your field. Consider reaching out to professors, family, friends, etc. Most informational interviews last about 30 minutes. Job shadowing is an unpaid opportunity to observe a professional in a position of interest. The time varies depending on availability and type of position—some shadows last an hour, others several days.
My name is ______ _______, and I am a sophomore at Oregon State University in the College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences, majoring in geology. My academic advisor, Big Bird, gave me your name and contact information as a geology alumnus who is open to meeting with students. I am specifically interested in pursuing a career in seismology.
I would be very grateful for an opportunity to introduce myself and ask you some questions about the U.S. Geological Survey and how you got to where you are. Are you available for a 20-30 minute conversation in the next couple of weeks? I am flexible to work around your schedule and can meet in person or via Zoom. My number is 555-555-5555. I look forward to meeting you!
Wondering how to find someone you can do an informational interview or job shadow with? Start with your own network: professors, alumni from OSU, friends, and family. You can find OSU alumni via LinkedIn (search "Oregon State University" and then click the "alumni" tab) or via OSU Connections, OSU's online networking platform. Read our networking tips for more ideas on creating professional connections.