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EPFP Networking Challenge: December
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EPFP Networking Challenge



December Challenge

Coffee Talk


Did you know that all EPFP Fellows and alumni have access to the entire EPFP directory? This houses the contact information for more than 8,500 alumni in all 50 states and more than 300 current Fellows.

As a member of the EPFP community you're encouraged to use the network to connect with other EPFP Fellows and alumni in your field or state, or to reconnect with members of your cohort. The directory can be used for more than just job searching--you can reach out to folks to collaborate on projects, get to know people in a new area, or ask for expertise or advice on a topic you're interested in. You can think of EPFP as another alma mater; far more often than not, EPFP alumni are excited to meet others who have shared in the same experience and have a passion for education.

The Challenge

An email is only the first step! Invite a fellow member of the EPFP network to coffee to chat about each other's work and interests. This person could be:

  • The EPFP Fellow or alum you reached out to for the November Challenge
  • Another EPFP Fellow or alum with whom you'd like to connect
  • Fellows: A member of your cohort you'd like to get to know better
  • Alumni: A member of your cohort with whom you'd like to reconnect


Here are some tips for how to make your coffee "date" beneficial for both of you:

  • Work around their schedule. Inviting someone to coffee is another thing to add on both of your busy calendars. Make it easy for them to say yes by offering to meet up before work and at a coffee shop near their office. Also aim to keep your meeting to 30 minutes or less.
  • Don't be late. Everyone's time is scarce, especially during the work week and holiday season, so it's important to be respectful of each other's limited time.
  • Come with a specific ask in mind. Are you looking for a job at their organization? Do you want to learn more about the doctorate program they completed? Even if it's as simple as wanting to know more about what their organization does, be sure to include the ask in your invitation and mention it at the beginning of your meeting.
  • Bring a business card. Make it easy for them to get back in touch with you or pass along your information to a colleague.
  • Say thank you and follow up. It might sound like a no-brainer, but be sure to thank them for taking the time to meet up with you. Send them a brief email that same day to say thank you and reference something you talked about during your coffee date. If you offered to connect them with a colleague, this is the best time to do so. If they said they would introduce you to someone or send you information about a project or program, mention that you look forward to the introduction or the information.


Share your EPFP Networking Challenge progress with us!

We want to know how you're doing on the Networking Challenge and learn about the new contacts you're making! Tweet about your Networking Challenge experience using the hashtag #epfpnetwork and be entered into a drawing for an Amazon gift card and be recognized at the 2017 Washington Policy Seminar!


Questions? Ideas? Thoughts? Contact Sarah McCann, National EPFP Program Coordinator, at


Click here to return to the EPFP Networking Challenge page.

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