Good initiative. Best approach would be to email the person first and ask if you can have a brief chat over the phone. My advice would be to get in contact with people that lie within the Senior Associate - Director levels of the hierarchy, MDs and Heads of groups may are less likely to give you time, unless the company is very very small, having said that it wouldn’t hurt to try.
- My approach is normally to ask for some time on the phone for a chat to ask some questions with regards to their line of business or the firm they work for.
- A more direct approach may work as well, asking if they offer ad-hoc/off-cycle internships.
- Make the email brief.
- Introduce yourself, very briefly
- Express your reasoning behind getting in contact
- Say thanks for reading and close it out
Email should not be anymore than literally 100 words… less is more…
- Do not send 1000 generic emails to people within in the same firm during a short time period, it will look unprofessional and annoy someone, and you are more likely to make a bad name for yourself.
- Do not make the emails too long
- Do not send an email off that you haven’t checked with forensic attention to detail
If you are lucky enough to get a response from somebody, then…
- Very dependent on how the conversation starts flowing
The approach I tend to use…
- I try to build conversation around their business area and ask “intelligent” questions, that show I have a good understanding and keen interest in their line of business
- After having hopefully impressed them with good questions, I then ask them about junior opportunities/internship opportunities.
I would advise against straight up cold calling through switchboard, unless you are super confident and know exactly what you want to say. The email approach ensures their complicity and reduces the likelihood of you pissing anyone off and making a name for yourself…
I would avoid trying to get in contact via Facebook.
If its of any use I could PM some examples of emails I have sent…
Hope this helps