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Some Tips Before You Visit!

For a printable version of site visit tips, click here.

Educate yourself about the company prior to your visit. It is easy to engage with scientists when you already know something about the company. The company website is a great place to find most of the information. Identify the specific areas/projects that are related to your own work or that interest you.

Prepare notes/questions in advance.

Prepare your ‘elevator pitch’, and ensure that it is tailored to your goals for this site visit.  (For example, this ‘elevator pitch’ may be different from what you would typically say at a scientific conference.) Be able to introduce yourself and your career interests in 15-30 seconds. If they’d like to hear more, they will ask follow-up questions.

Print business cards; this is a professional way to easily hand someone your contact information. There are many services for printing inexpensive business cards.  For a professional look, print through UMass Chan (also inexpensive):

Ask for their business card at the end of each discussion.  You will need their contact information to send a thank-you note after the visit, or to ask further questions.  After leaving the discussion, jot a short note on the back of their card to remind you of what you learned in the discussion, a particular interest of theirs, etc. This will help your thank-you note be more specific.

Before the site visit, create a LinkedIn profile if you do not have one and make sure it is up to date. LinkedIn a great way for professional networking and staying in touch with the people you meet during these visits. Anyone interested in you as a professional contact may “google” you and find your LinkedIn profile.

Dress appropriately (i.e. business or business casual).

After the visit, send a thank-you email to each person you connected with during the site visit.  It should be short, but include something specific you discussed or learned.