29 Practice 4 different ways of introducing yourself

It’s easy to get stuck in the same scripted response to “what do you want to do after graduation?” There are multiple ways to introduce yourself, and you can decide where the conversation goes based on how you answer. Explore these options and next time someone asks what you want to do, choose the answer that excites you. Try making a list of your skills first because when you know what you're good at you can be more confident in your introduction.

  1. I am working on learning x so I can rethink industry y. This response will likely prompt questions about your industry or what rethinking means. You can then ask, “What industry are you in?” Ask if there are any upstarts rethinking their industry, and the conversation will continue from there. If they ask more questions, discuss how your non-linear career path prepared you for this work.
  2. I want to work in x space/area/industry doing y. In this case, y is your broader career goal, rather than a job description. For example, y=  
    • Helping people build their companies (if you want to work in Operations)
    • Helping people get jobs (if you want to work in HR)
    • Working on the business side (if you want to work in sales or leadership)
    • Working on the creative side (if you want to work in graphic design or strategy)
    • (The next question will likely be about how you do what you do. Choose this introduction if you love talking about the future of your work.)
  3. I am trying to figure out where to go from x, but we will see. I have time to figure it out. In this instance x will be an explanation of what you studied or the last project you were excited about. Before you finish talking, ask them: “What do you think your next career move will be?” This conversation tends to be about the non-linearity of life in general.
  4. I am learning about x right now, which is very exciting. What learning edge are you experiencing in your work? You will likely be asked why or how you are learning x. If you are excited about learning and expanding your skill set, choose this introduction.
  5. Practice these conversations with a roster of U of T alumni who are ready and willing to talk to you. Create a profile for the U of T Hub on Ten Thousand Coffees and set up an informational meeting with other members on the Hub.

University of Toronto Career Exploration & Education Next Steps:

Visit our tips page or check out our e-book collection for tips on building or expanding your network. Once you’re ready to start practicing your introductions, attend a Talking to Professionals workshop or Career Chat: Networking.

Visit Career Exploration & Education and meet with us for a 15-minute conversation to talk about your next step(s). Find our hours here.

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