Ponomareva says she also had success writing to McGill alumni on LinkedIn, but that Evisors added a personal touch. "If you can actually have a real talk with the person in the field, that's great," she says.
Although she recommends the service to other business students, Ponomareva says it's not necessarily going to lead to jobs, because local experts are necessary to get "actionable advice" or business leads. "Because it's so global it's very useful for general purposes," she says, "but it's local [contacts] that would actually know how to help more with what you are looking for, like internships."
Jorge Paramo, a graduate student at Texas Christian University's Neeley School of Business, who has participated in an hourlong conference call with an Evisors expert, recommends the service to business school applicants. Evisors is a "direct channel of interaction" between students and industry professionals, which can provide "invaluable advice and insight" and can give an edge to business students, who often "have a lot on our plate and our stakes are high," he says.
[Check out M.B.A. application tips from admissions officials.]
"I believe [Evisors] can help students get a job because of the direct advice," he says.
Paul Hardister, assistant director of Claremont Graduate University's Office of Career Management, says CGU has run three Evisors webinars, and has three more scheduled. He believes Evisors can empower career services offices at smaller colleges and universities, which don't tend to have deep reserves of alumni.
Hardister wouldn't recommend that applicants select a school just because they see on Evisors's website that it's a partnering institution. "However, I think Evisors can help level the playing field," he says.
Ryan Paugh, chief of staff and community director at the nonprofit Young Entrepreneur Council, says there are a wide range of free and nearly free platforms available to students.
Paugh, who was not familiar with Evisors, says his organization runs "interactive live chats" during which an expert, via live video feed, offers 15 minutes of "tips and tricks" to viewers. Viewers can then submit questions via Twitter or a widget on the nonprofit's website, and the presenter responds.
"In my experience, there's a lot that young people interested in entrepreneurship can do for free or for fairly cheap—do-it-yourself educational experience," he says.
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