Career Guides

This program introduces alumni who are exploring a particular field to alumni who are already established in that field.

Alumni career guides are volunteers who are willing to be contacted by other alumni to share their experience, knowledge, advice, and ideas about their field and career development. Career guides may act as coaches, supporters, motivators, or resources.

What makes a career guide relationship successful? Ideally, it should benefit both the guide and the person seeking advice. Both parties must be open-minded and respectful, and they should keep to the expectations they have set for the conversation.


Elizabeth Conley

Director of Development, Alumni Engagement and Leadership

Tips for Career Guides

Be committed. Please make sure you have the time and enthusiasm to be a career guide, and please respond to alumni inquiries in a timely manner.

Be proactive. Attend alumni events, post jobs and articles on the School’s LinkedIn, and make yourself approachable for alumni who want to reach out to you.

Get to know your connection on a personal level. Robust conversations that have a personal touch are more interesting and rewarding.

Tell stories. People love hearing about your past experiences! Lessons you learned from your work can be invaluable to someone else.

Provide a fresh perspective. As an accomplished professional in your field, you may have a different perspective on issues and can thus provide an unbiased assessment.

Give advice. Bounce ideas around with your connection, but make sure you are providing thoughts and feedback rather than telling your connection what to do. This approach promotes good judgment and decision-making abilities.

Be encouraging. Try to be positive and a source of optimism!

Tips for Reaching Out to a Career Guide

Communicate clearly. When you first contact a career guide, make sure you state who you are, what you are looking for, and any other information that you believe would be useful.

Be flexible. Be flexible in your schedule and approach. Some guides may be able to meet in person, while others may prefer phone or e-mail.

Be patient. Thoughtful advice can take time!

Don’t ask for a job. This may seem obvious, but people still do it. Do not ask someone you don’t know for a job. Connecting with industry guides is great for getting to know colleagues in the same field or professional circles, but it’s a starting point, not a job interview.

Please log into the Alumni Portal to view contact information for Career Guides.


Support Sidwell Friends


Connect or reconnect with classmates and friends


Support Sidwell Friends