Is connecting with company alumni ok for a referral?

ayy's picture
Rank: Orangutan | 259

New chimp here.

I have been working as a broker associate at a commercial real estate brokerage firm.
With some time spent working as a broker, I have realized that I don't want to be a broker.
So, I have been applying to some places and noticed (on LinkedIn) that a lot of alumni from my company are now working in many different companies that I am interested in working at.

Do you think it is advisable to reach out to these guys? If so, please let me know a proper way to reach out. Should I ask them to meet me first via email or ask for a referral directly?