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Students: Best Practices

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These guidelines will help you maximize your WiN experience.

General Guidelines

Be Clear.

When you contact an adviser on WiN, clearly state why you want to connect with him or her. Do you want to know about their career field? Their post-grad education? Explain what you’re interested in talking about in the first message and have a clear, doable, straightforward ask. The clearer you are about your expectations, the more your adviser can help you.

Be Confident.

Advisers want to connect with and help you. That’s why they signed up for this program. They want to interact with real students, like you.

Don’t Limit Yourself.

If you can’t find an adviser that perfectly matches your interests, look outside the box. Most advisers will be able to point you in the right direction if they aren’t able to directly answer your questions.

Don’t Be Discouraged.

It may take several attempts before an adviser accepts your connection. Just keep on contacting advisers.

Don’t Delay.

Once your adviser responds to you, contact him or her within one week.

Let Us Help!

If you ever get stuck trying to contact an adviser, email WiN at win@wheaton.edu.

Before Connecting

  • Research the adviser. Google their name and company.
  • Prepare thoughtful questions. See Discussion Starters for some ideas.

When Connecting

  • Address the adviser as Dr./Mr./Ms. until they tell you otherwise.
  • Be confident but humble. Take initiative and be a good listener.
  • Be responsive and prompt.

If meeting in person,

  • Get there five minutes early.
  • Dress professionally.
  • Offer to pay for their coffee/meal (optional, but classy).

After Connecting

  • Send a thank-you note via email or mail (ask the WiN team for their mailing address).
  • Close well. If you’re done communicating with your adviser for a while, give closure by thanking them again and explaining where you’re headed or what you learned.
  • Send periodic updates. If you had a good connection with your adviser, touch base every few months to let them know how you've used what they shared and where you are at.


  • Leaving people hanging. If someone agrees to connect with you, take the lead on scheduling something. If you’re super busy, send them a quick note saying you’ll be in touch soon.
  • Asking for money. You’ll need to find investors for your awesome start-up or donors your missions trip somewhere else.
  • Writing form letters. Customize your WiN messages so that they’re relevant for each adviser. Don't just copy and paste.
  • Being too transactional. Remember that you’re contacting people who genuinely enjoy connecting with you (that’s why they signed up for WiN!), so ask their advice, listen to their stories, and be authentic.