Within 48 hrs of receiving their details, make email contact.
You might include (for example):
Prepare so that you can proactively lead the conversation.
Start with a thank you for their time & check how long they have available for you today.
An easy start is to ask them to talk about their career first. Use questions such as: what attracted you to your current role? What did you study at IDS and how did that help you develop your career? What is the best thing about your role? How do you cope with being away from your family/the political situation in X/working with such uncertain funding (just examples!)
Try to avoid questions that have yes/no answers to get them talking. Don’t be afraid to ask them to explain jargon/acronyms they use or assumptions they make that you don’t follow. You can use questions such as: I don’t know the ‘Shagaya Method’ that you used, can you explain it please? Could you tell me some more about how you decided to go with that approach? How did you build community engagement into that programme? How did you manage to evaluate the impact of such an integrated programme?
Plan a couple of questions that you would like their help to answer. These will be specific to your needs but might include: what are the agencies working in your area/region you would recommend? Is French vital for roles in X region? What would you say an excellent application for a role in Strategic Environmental Management would include? How can I demonstrate resilience?
Keep an eye on the time and draw the conversation to a close approx. 5 minutes before you are due to end. Again, thank them and if you would like to keep in touch/talk again arrange that now in preference. You can also send a follow up/thank you and gently remind them of any links or contacts they have promised to send.
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