If you were to take inventory of the professionals in your field that you admire most, would you feel too intimidated to reach out to them? Kelly Corrigan — EXPLO parent, Writer-in-Residence, and New York Times best-selling author — says it's time you feel otherwise.
Whether you are inviting an inspiring entrepreneur to speak at an event, asking a CEO how to launch the career of your dreams, or connecting with a reputable industry professional over coffee, it can be incredibly intimidating to send that initial email. However, Corrigan believes that the moment you do, you are immediately setting a bar for yourself on what's conceivable.
By remembering that we all had to start somewhere in our professional field — and that we are universally all at different stages in the career cycle — we can minimize the fear of “networking up” with professionals we admire. Corrigan encourages us to reach out to those we can learn from and to remember that in terms of accessing professionals, nobody is out of anyone's “league”.
Just by knowing one person who is a published author, a student might think [that] maybe their odds are better than they thought they were — or maybe it is more viable than they would have thought. I myself had never met a published author until I was in my 30s, and I just think it would have changed my sense of what was possible…
ABOUT ACCESSING PROFESSIONALS
At EXPLO, we encourage the pursuit of lifelong learning — which means we are constantly doing our own studying up, reading on, or relearning the concepts that we teach throughout the summer. Here are some really interesting (and some just fun) links that we've been recently reading on gaining access to professionals.
- A fitting song to listen to while venturing through this blog: The Go! Team - Everyone's A V.I.P To Someone
- Forbes gives great advice on "Networking Up" with your business idols
- Looking for the right professional industry that will tap into the best parts of yourself? These 60 prompt cards to help you work through moments of career uncertainty.
- Did you know musician Ray Charles mentored music industry legend Quincy Jones? A list of unlikely mentorships throughout history.
- To learn about the most unique things people have idolized, take a quick trip to Ancient Greece! There, you can find Abraxas, an ancient god with a rooster’s head, a human torso, and a snake for each leg (*rumored* to be where the word “Abracadabra” comes from).
Networking is like espionage: it's just as productive to make contact with the embassy cleaning staff as with the economic attaché
When reaching out to someone for professional guidance, here's how to write an email that seals the deal
If you are interested in reading one of Corrigan's top-selling books, we suggest "Tell Me More", a memoir about the 12 most powerful phrases we use to sustain any relationship
At EXPLO, liberal arts takes many forms, exercises, and events. Just a few EXPLO experiences that encourage students to choose undecided include:
- Big Idea Talks: Settle int your seat at Shubert theater and listen in on one of EXPLO at Yale's Big Idea Talks, a weekly talk from renowned professionals — in fields from video game design to performance art — about lifelong success and happiness (grades 10-12)
- Focus: In Emergency Medicine and Medical Rounds, step into the nationally-famed simulation lab at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston to learn surgical techniques from attending physician (and EXPLO alum) Dr. Andrew Eyre (grades 4-7, 8+9)
- Workshops + Courses: Have notable professionals engage with you during related classes and workshops all summer long. This summer's Professors-of-Practice include Screenwriter J.V. Hart, Supreme Court Justice Richard Gabriel, NYU Professor and Best-seller Dan Lerner, Professor of Yale's most popular course Laurie Santos, and NPR's Bill Littlefield.
- Main Event: What happens when you watch world record-holder and pogo stick champion, Pogo Fred, showcase his tricks on stage? You realize there are no limitations to career possibilities (grades 4-7)
- Course: Solving a crime? That’s the easy part. Getting solid proof for a court conviction? That’s where things get tricky. Head over to the local police station and learn how the fingerprinting process works from a real-life police officer in Criminal Investigations (grades 8+9)
- Weekend Trip: On a Saturday, get your hands (and apron) dirty learning how to cook a three-course meal at Silo Cooking School where some of the best chefs in the business (think: Martha Stewart, Jacques Pepin, Rachel Ray) have experimented (grades 10-12)
Like this content? Subscribe now and receive weekly emails in your inbox every Friday morning with our Philosophy Friday content.
Stephanie LaMont + Adam French