So the other day I was chatting with my upperclassmen friend; after a certain point he told me about the time (as a freshman) he decided to call a partner at a local IB firm after receiving no response to his e-mail.
Here's the scene:
Friend is sitting at his desk on a Monday afternoon. He dials the number of the partner at the boutique IB and raises the phone to his ear. After navigating through the automated menu, he eventually reaches the partner:
Hi, is this Mr.____?
Yes, who is this?
Friend (unaware and idiotically):
My name is _____ and I'm an undergrad at _____. Are you busy?
Partner (pissed off):
YES...why do I have to pick up your call right now?
Friend (finally realizing how much of an idiot he is):
I'm sorry, I'm so sorry!
Partner (still a bit pissed off):
Well what's the call about?
Friend (shitting his pants):
Oh no it looks like you're busy!
...So what's the call about?
Friend (still shitting his pants):
I'm sorry, I'm so sorry I will contact you another time!
After a long, awkward pause the partner finally just ended the call.
In retrospect, my friend owns up to it and claims he really didn't know what was going on with him when he decided to call.
I think a few of the screws in my brain were a bit too loose.
Moral of the story for those like me: KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE. You may or may not have heard it from your English teacher back in high school, but it's essential. In my friend's case, he certainly should have known a partner at an IB would definitely be "busy" (the word doesn't even do justice) and should have completely changed his approach . So before you cold-call: Do your research, go and email asking for a call, and (most importantly) don't make yourself look like an idiot during the call.