Personal & Professional Enrichment

Helpful Spartans – It’s All About Who You Know!

You’ve heard it said a million times that “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know!” We have seen that statement to be true over and over again and want to help to introduce you to other Spartans who have told us that they love helping other Spartans. Sure, we have a huge Linkedin group, and Linkedin has also made it easy to find alumni via their “Find Alumni” tool (See this under your “connections” tab in LI.) We hope you will use those resources to meet new people and to share resources with one another.

However, we know that it can be hard taking that first step, so we’re making it even easier for you! We meet great people all over the country who say they want to be helpful to other Spartans. So, we’ve decided that we will “collect” them for you here. We’ve given you a link to their Linkedin profile, a title, location, and even a brief Q&A so you can get to know them a bit before you reach out to them.

So allow us to introduce you to our group of HELPFUL SPARTANS:

What Helpful Spartans ARE:

Have you ever wished you could just get a few minutes to talk to someone who honestly wants to help you to get more information about from an insider’s perspective about an occupation, industry, company, or other relevant professional concerns? The helpful Spartans listed on our site are people we’ve met that have agreed they want to help other Spartans and that they’ll respond when you reach out to them.

What Helpful Spartans are NOT:

These people have good intentions to be helpful, but they may not be trained as “professional helpers.” (For that kind of help, see the “Career Advising” tab on this site.) While some may be willing to be “mentors,” all of them are busy professionals who will make themselves available for a quick phone call or email reply to your questions. They aren’t going to be able to give you detailed advice about your career or about your job application/hiring status at their place of business, and will likely ignore requests to connect around that issue. The occupational title and location listed here was current at the time they shared their content with us and may have changed since then. (Please note that these people are not officially “endorsed” by MSU, their opinions are their own, and may not reflect that of Michigan State University.)

How You Can Make The Most of This Opportunity:

  • Prepare yourself. Know your own story, what you want to achieve with your career, and what you would like to get out of meeting the person you want to approach.
  • Research the other person. Read their profile and check out the Q&A discussion we did with them. Study the company that they work for, and/or the ones they worked for in the past. Familiarize yourself with their industry. Look to see who you may know in common.
  • Formulate your questions for them in advance.
  • When you reach out to them, tell them that you found them listed on SpartansHelpingSpartans, and include what it is that you would like to talk to them about in your introduction.
  • Respect their time by sticking to the allotted time that you asked for and that they agreed to. If you approach that timeframe, be the one to say something like “I see we’re running out of time, I’ve got one more question for you would you mind if I emailed that to you? Or would you be willing to chat quickly on another occasion?” Let them decide how they want to handle that at the moment.
  • Always, always, ask “Who else do you think I should talk to about this?” And let them take the lead in how they want to connect you.
  • Always follow up with a thank you. And let them know what you did about the advice they gave, and what the result was.
  • Return the favor. At some point, you will meet someone they should know. Or you’ll find some resource that may help them. Make that connection for them.
  • Consider being a Helpful Spartan – get a hold of us and let us feature you in this group to make it easier for other Spartans who may need exactly the insights you have to offer!



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