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Career Services for Alumni
ESF Connections

Make a Difference

Join our growing network of alumni who share their academic and professional experience with our current ESF students.

As an ESF Connections participant, you will enhance our student’s undergraduate experience and prepare them to launch their own professional careers. Your connection with the students will assist with career exploration, and your advice will aid in the development of their professional persona.

As part of the program, we also hope to provide the students with some real-world experience. If you are able to provide a student with an externship, internship opportunity, or simply advice via an informational interview, please consider doing so; the experience will prove beneficial for everyone involved. The ESF students will have an opportunity to explore a number of career opportunities available to them upon graduation and you will have the opportunity to influence the next generation of students entering the work force.

How the Program Works

Once you have completed the ESF Connections form, an Alumni Connections profile will be generated and housed within the ESF Alumni Association and the Career Services Office.

While the Externship Program and serving as a Guest Panelist/Speaker are formalized events, if a student is interested in connecting with an alumni for an informational interview, resume review, or mock interview, your preferred contact information will be shared with that student who is interested (i.e. a student is interested in learning more about a specific career, your phone number or email address – based on your indication – would be provided so the student could reach out to you).

Opportunities to connect with ESF students include, but are not limited to:

  • Externship Program: Similar to a job shadow, host an ESF student and introduce them to your profession, industry, and/or organization, provide a tour of your workplace, answer questions, and allow a student(s) to observe your daily routine. See below for more detail on our Externship Program.
  • Informational Interviews: Speak to an ESF student (either via in-person, phone, or the web) about your experiences and skills, provide any career advice and industry insight, and answer student questions.
  • Guest Speaker/Professional Panelist: Serve as a guest speaker or panelist either in-person for planned on-campus events or via web-based technology.
  • Mock Interviews: Provide mock interviews for students either in-person for planned on-campus events, phone conversations or web-based technology.
  • Resume Reviews: Review student resumes either in-person for planned on-campus events or electronically.
  • Posting Internship Experiences/Job Opportunities: We can provide you with information and step-by-step instructions on how to create a company profile and utilize Handshake, our career management system to post opportunities for ESF students/recent graduates.

Externship Program Overview

Our hope is to create half-day, one-day and multi-day shadowing experiences that allow students to spend time with alumni at work. Through observation and conversation, participating students have the opportunity to learn more about a profession, receive career-related advice, and reflect on the ways in which their SUNY-ESF education can prepare them for life and success after college.

Goals/Aims of Externship Program

  • Helps students gain experience in order to successfully pursue an internship
  • Links ESF to additional experiential learning opportunities for students
  • Aids students to professionally network
  • Develop stronger relationships between ESF Alumni and current ESF students

Alumni/Host Expectations

Hosts are expected to introduce their profession, industry and/or organization; provide a tour of the workplace; answer questions; and most importantly, allow a student to observe their daily routine. Some hosts choose to arrange meetings or informational interviews between the student and other professionals; others engage the student in a project.

Students are responsible for transporting themselves to and from the job shadowing site, locating and paying for any necessary lodging, researching the organization in advance of the shadowing day, and coming prepared with questions.

The specific shadowing date(s) will be decided upon by the student and host after the selection process is complete.

Upon the completion of the externship, you will be asked to complete an Externship Evaluation Form.

How to Become a Host

If you’re interested, please fill out the ESF Connections form and be sure to check the Externship Program Host Option for the times of year you are interested in hosting.

Questions about the program?


Casey Duffy
Career Advisor, Career Services Office
Office of Student Affairs

Student Expectations


  • Student must be registered as a full time student and be in good academic and social standing.

Prior to Internship/Externship

  • Host site will be confirmed with student and host
  • Attend and participate in an Externship Program Prep workshop
  • Schedule initial resume review with Casey Duffy via Handshake
  • Student will contact the host organization to confirm the final details for their externship (i.e. start times and dates; directions to the host location; transportation options; security requirements to enter the facility; contact information for the host, and other pertinent information).

Example E-mail (from student to Host)

Subject Line: SUNY-ESF – Externship Program

Dear Mr./Ms. XXX,

My name is XXX and I am a student at SUNY-ESF. Thank you for your willingness to host an ESF student for our Externship Program. I am excited for the opportunity to learn more about what you do in your role at ________ company. I have developed an interest in ________ field through __________. If your schedule still allows, I am hoping that we could arrange a mutual time to shadow you.

My e-mail address is (SYR e-mail address only) and my phone number is _______________. I am excited to hear back from you and look forward to learning about your career field.

Thank you,


  • Notify the Career Advisor via e-mail that this contact with the host has been made.

Students During Externship

  • Be prompt arriving at the host site.
  • Be prepared to sign confidentiality and or privacy documents if the organization requires these.
  • Participate in all the activities that are planned for that day.
  • If there are breaks in the planned schedule, use the Sample Questions on the Externship Program Guide to obtain more information about the organization.
  • Be professional, courteous, and enthusiastic about this opportunity.

Completion of Externship

  • Write a thank you note to the host(s): email thank-you is appropriate
  • Complete both the Student Externship Evaluation Form and the Externship Reporting Form.
  • Schedule follow-up resume review with Casey Duffy via Handshake.