Module 2 Week 2


This week’s lesson is Building Connection Through Networking and is focused on how to approach networking in Mod 2.

Please complete the lesson plan as well as all check for understanding action items.

Learning Goals

  • Understand how to refine your job search strategy using research through communication, networking and outreach
  • Utilize tools and strategies for building connection
  • Create and execute a plan to start expanding your network

After you complete this lesson, you’ll synthesize your learning goals in this Exit Ticket.

Week 2 Lesson - Building Connection

Allow yourself 30-40 minutes to complete the following lesson. Start by viewing the videos below.

Section 1: Introduction

The lesson for today is titled building connection, but the focus is related to networking and outreach. In this lesson we will have 3 main focus areas to touch on:

  • Why is building connection important?
  • What does building connection look like for module 2?
  • Getting started

The primary goals of this lesson are for you all to:

  • Understand how to refine your job search strategy using research through communication, networking and outreach
  • Utilize tools and strategies for building connections
  • Create and execute a plan to start expanding your network

Section 2: Why is building connection important?

Did you know that we see upwards of 30-45% of students get jobs via connecting with the Turing community? Check out our job reports see the data.

Generally speaking, when we start to talk about networking most folks tend to think about it as a very transactional process in which you are asking for something from someone. This can be true and a form of networking, however, the reframe here is that networking is more based on asking for directions from people who have had similar experiences.

Why would you start to network/build connections so early in the program?

  • To conduct research and get answers to the questions you have for your job search
  • To connect with people who work in the industry to help navigate and explore your career
    • What do I want to learn?
    • Who is best to answer these questions?
  • To build relationships with people who can later be referrals when you are on more active job hunts

Note: neither of these is about asking for a job it’s more about preparing for the process!

Section 3: What Does This Look Like in Mod 2?

When you think about outreach, you can think about both warm and cold outreach.

In short, warm outreach means reaching out to people who are already in your community and include people you know personally. Warm outreach includes:

  • Friends & family
  • Classmates & instructors (previous and current)
  • Your mentor
  • Alumni
  • Student circles
  • Guest Speakers
  • Employer Partners who participate in activities at Turing

Cold outreach refers to reaching out people in the software industry who you haven’t met yet.

As for Mod 2, we typically advise that students start with warm connections as it is generally easier to connect with those folks and it is great practice for tackling cold outreach. If you are feeling ambitious and would like to connect with a cold contact, please feel free to do so!

Networking looks like:

  • Coffee chats/informational interviews
    • Most common form of networking
  • Online engagement (i.e. commenting/posting, OpenSource contributions)
    • Read these tips on Twitter engagement from alumni
  • Events/Meetups (follow your interests!)
  • Student circles
  • Jobs shadow

Section 4: Getting Started!

Now that we have looked at the why behind building connection, where is do we start? Who is already in your network that can answer your questions?

  • Friends & Family
  • Classmates, instructors (previous and current)
  • Turing Community:
    • Mentors
    • Alumni
    • Student groups

How do you find people within the Turing community? Well, the best place to start is by identifying what companies you are targeting.

Use BuiltIn’s company tab to search for companies based on different criteria of interest.

Take the company of interest and search it on LinkedIn Click on ‘People’ and then filiter by “Turing School of Software and Design.”

This should populate a list of alumni that currently or previously worked at that company. Then, head to slack for your outreach. A large portion of our alumni still use slack and it is the easiest way to connect. LinkedIn is your next option from there.

Be sure to browse these resources for more insight into finding companies, connections, and opportunities.

What to Say

When you’re reaching out to someone, be sure to follow these steps:

  • Introduction: who are you?
  • Purpose: why are you reaching out?
  • Specifics to the contact: what do you know about them? How does this knowledge connect to your purpose?
  • Call to Action: what are the next steps here?(be specific with the amount of time you would like to spend chatting with this person)

So your message might look something like this:

Hi Joanne,

My name is Allison, and I’m a student in the Back End Engineering program at Turing School of Software & Design. I’m reaching out because I’m really interested in the work that your company is doing and would love to ask a few questions about what it’s like working there. I also saw that you and I have a shared background in environmental science, and I would love to pick your brain about what the transition to software was like for you. Would you be available for a 30-min Zoom call in the next week? I’m available any weekday after 4pm MT.

Thanks so much and hope to hear from you soon! Allison

When you’re reaching out for a networking connection, make sure NOT to do the following:

  • Asking for a job referral before you’ve taken the time to establish a relationship with the person you’re talking to
  • Asking for a job
  • Sending a LinkedIn request with no introduction
  • Sending a generic message that hasn’t been customized

How to Reach Out

Again, use your tools!

If you’re reaching out to a Turing alum or someone else in the Turing community, try them on Slack first! You can also send a message on LinkedIn to a contact. If you don’t hear back from the person you want to talk to on either of those platforms, try to find their email address. These tools can help you:

You’ve Scheduled a Meeting. Now What?

Once you’ve set up that phone call or meeting, how do you prepare? What do you want to talk about?

Start by thinking about what you want to learn. What are you curious about? What do you need to know in order to move forward with your job search? Could you even see yourself at this company? And then also consider who your audience is. What can this particular contact help you to learn?

  • Not sure where to start? Check out these resources:

Then, consider who your audience is. For those who are Turing grads and alumni, here are some suggested questions:

  • Do you like your job? Would you recommend the company to other Turing grads? Why?
  • What do you wish you had known after you graduated from Turing?
  • What common mistakes do you think Turing grads make in their first job that I can prepare for now?

For anyone:

  • What does the day to day of a developer look like at your company?
  • If they had a career prior to software - how did you transition into working in software?
  • How would you describe the culture and values of your company?

Finally, it’s always a good idea to end the conversation by asking, “who else from your network could you introduce me to?”

For a refresher on any of this information, you can always find it on the Resources page here.

Check for Understanding

  1. Complete this exit ticket. Completion of this exit ticket is required for your professional development this module.

  2. Create networking goals this module by following the steps below:

  • Build a list of 4 warm contacts (people to get to know better) and 4 cold contacts (someone in tech industry to reach out to)
  • Outline 1 action step to take for networking during the mod (ex: attend an event, have a chat with someone, etc.)
  • Keep track of this list and action steps using your networking tracker. Create an outreach message for the people on your goal list.
  • Test it out! Send the message!

Due Dates & Reminders

  • Complete the exit ticket for today’s lesson by EOD Friday of Week 2.
  • Your ATS-ready (read: plain, straightforward information), 1-page resume draft that includes at least 2 software projects and a list of technical skills to submit by EOD Friday of Week 2.

  • Create your list of 4 warm contacts and 4 cold contacts and decide on 1 action step that you’ll take for networking.