Yesterday, I spoke with Debra Shigley, a Harvard alum and author of The Go-Getter Girl’s Guide: Get What You Want in Work and Life (and Look Great While You’re at It). She had some great advice for those of us using our Ivy League diplomas as place mats.
I think the first thing you should do is divorce yourself from thinking you’re so special because you went to an Ivy League school. Yes it looks good on your resume and it will open doors, but it’s not everything. Now where it is very helpful is your alumni network. An alum is much more likely to call you back than if you’re just cold-calling. I think most people are very supportive of their fellow alumni. So I suggest tapping into that. I don’t think the Ivy League thing makes that much of a difference otherwise. I think one of the strongest advantages is the network you have from your school. Many of your friends will accomplish great things and your network gets stronger, because you’re grouped with a lot of accomplished go-getter type people. You can’t sit there and think ‘I have a Harvard degree, someone should get me a job.’ Unless of course you’re sitting across a table from someone who also graduated from Harvard. I think people might be more quick to call you back in that case.