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Guidelines for Advisees

The Alumni Advisors program is a free service for UMass Amherst students and alumni. We encourage you to use it often and speak with diferent advisors. Each session can offer a new perspective! For questions or more information, contact Karen Shultz at kshultz@umass.edu or 413-545-5540.

Before requesting a meetingAlumni Advisors speak with advisees

Review the advisor's profile online, including any available feedback from other advisees. You can also view an advisor's current title, work experience, academic background and, when available, general schedule.
We will never share your name, phone number, or email address with the advisor. You are welcome to share this information with your advisor during the course of your conversation if you would like.

While using the Alumni Advisor Network
It is strongly recommended to contact only one advisor at a time. This will help you make the scheduled meetings and manage your connections.  
This is primarily an information gathering network. As such, direct questions like "do you have a job for me" or "how can I get hired with your organization" are not appropriate. 
Be respectful of your advisor’s time. Respond to all advisors’ emails within two days.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I sign up? Signing up is easy.  Go to umassalumni.firsthand.co and register for access. Follow the directions on the screen and registration should take less than two minutes. 

I am an advice seeker. I would like to narrow my search to only people with specific attributes, but I don't see many of those attributes listed. Why? Many of the alumni advisors may not be working in a field associated with their degree, or they may be in your ideal position but have a title that varies slightly or significantly from your expectation. By using the available filters, which include job function, employer, industry, services offered and location, you’ll have the best chance of finding the advisor who is perfect for your situation.

How do I get connected with an advisor? The program will do all the work for you. You select your advisor and his/her available time. The advisor is given 48 hours to respond and if he/she cannot make the time, you will receive an email letting you know. The day before the phone meeting, a reminder email will be sent with a bridge phone number to call.  No personal phone numbers or emails are exchanged unless it’s agreeable to do so during your meeting.

I see there are credits/consultations on my account. How did they get there? Please ignore any reference to credits. This feature was part of the standard site, which we are not using. All advice seekers will have an unlimited number of consultations available to them.

Is it appropriate to ask an advisor for a job or a contact in their HR department? This is an information gathering and professional networking program so you should treat the conversations with your advisor in a professional manner. There may be times where it’s appropriate to ask this question, but remember that this is not an opportunity to “spam” advisors with your resume.  

How long or how many times can an advice seeker and an advisor stay connected? You may contact an advisor only once, or you may choose to ask for additional advice from the same advisor at a later date. As long as both the advisee and advisor agree to continue connecting, the relationship can last indefinitely.

I am searching for advisors with experience in a particular industry but I do not see it listed.  How can I add an industry to my search? If you do not see your industry of choice listed on your profile, click on the ADD INDUSTRY link and start typing in the text box. If a prepopulated industry name does not appear, try a different search word. For instance, if you type in POLITICS, nothing will prepopulate. However, if your start to type in GOVERNMENT, you will find choices. Once you have selected one of the prepopulated choices, it will remain in your industry selections.

I chose an advisor but it's not exactly what I wanted.  What can I do to find a better match? Look at your filters again and either add or subtract filters based on your needs.  The more filters you choose, the fewer advisors will be available for you, so you may want to remove a few to see what type of advisor pool you receive.

Can you explain the ratings system in more detail? The Alumni Association wants to ensure that this program provides a quality experience for both advisors and advisees. The ratings system allows us to see who is using the system and what the user experience is like. On a rare occasion, an advisor or advisee may not meet our high quality standards. In that rare instance, someone from the Alumni Association will contact the advisor or advisee directly to address the situation.