It is perfectly acceptable to email your request to meet with a potential networking contact.
Subject: Davidson College Student Seeking Advice
Dear Mr. Black:
I am a Davidson College junior exploring a career in international law and I noticed that you have indicated an interest in serving as a career adviser on Davidson's alumni database. I am writing to ask if you would be willing to speak with me about your career path and the steps that you recommend for a student considering law school.
I recognize that you are extremely busy and I appreciate any time you may be able to offer for a phone meeting in the next few weeks. I am typically available on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays between 1:30 to 8:00 pm and on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 9:30 to 11:30 am and 3:30 to 7:30 pm. Please let me know if there is a time that fits your schedule or if I should contact your office to schedule a meeting. Thank you for your consideration.
Patricia Buckingham '17
Subject: Referral from John White/ Request for Meeting
Dear Mr. Billings:
My father, John White, told me that you would be a great person to contact to learn more about the field of finance. I am currently a first-year student at Davidson College and am beginning to research different career options and their fit for my skills and interests.
My goals for this summer are to gain some exposure to the finance area and begin to build some valuable career experience. I would love to get your perspective on the industry and any ideas or suggestions you might have for me. I will be home for two weeks from Dec. 20 - Jan. 7 and am available at any time. Would you be available to talk with me for 30 minutes during that time?
Thank you so much for your consideration.
Joan White '19
Subject: Davidson Student Request for Informational Meeting
Dear Ms. Jones:
I am a sophomore at Davidson College and I have gained interest in journalism through my experience writing for the Davidson Journal and the Davidsonian, two of the college's most popular publications. I would appreciate the opportunity to spend about 30 minutes with you on the phone or in person to learn about your career in journalism and what skills or experience I might need to gain during my remaining years at Davidson.
I am typically available on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays between 1:30 to 8:00 pm and on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 9:30 to 11:30 am and 3:30 to 7:30 pm. Please let me know if there is a time that fits your schedule or if I should contact your office to schedule a meeting. Thank you for your consideration.
Jamie Williams '18
Example to use when "connecting" with potential contacts on LinkedIn. You have limited space to craft your introductory message:
Dear Mr. Flora:
I am a Davidson College junior exploring a career in law and would appreciate your advice on locating summer internships at law firms. I hope we can connect and have a follow up conversation at your convenience. Thank you for your time.
Jacob Ellison '17
Subject: Thank You
Dear Ms. Networking:
Thank you for taking the time to talk with me today. I am grateful for the time you spent reviewing my career objectives and recommending strategies for achieving them during my time at Davidson.
I especially appreciate your offer to connect me to other Davidson alumni and will follow up with the contacts you gave me right away. I will also use the online resources you recommended to further my job search.
Any additional suggestions you may have would be welcome. I'll update you as my search progresses. Again, thank you so much for your help. I greatly appreciate the assistance you have provided me.
Cameron Jones '18