This is part 3 of a series to describe a selection of resources to help job seekers support each other for networking and information sharing. Today, the topic is college/university alumni groups. I’ll also share some additional on-line resources targeted at helping alumni and mentors connect.
Read Part I – On-line resources
Read Part II – In-person resources
Don’t forget your alma mater!
Some college and university career centers have begun to extend benefits (some for a small fee) to graduates, and alumni organizations may be great resources of information and support. LinkedIn is full of opportunities to join alumni networking groups.
Andrew Rosenthal, President of the Philadelphia, acknowledges that his club is encountering increased discussion of how the alumni group can help connect people to job opportunities. While focusing on what services alumni should provide and what services the University should offer,Ã‚Â the club does partner with Penn’s career services for job seeking events.Club of
Will Robinson, owner of Virtual Career Coach, has contact with college career offices as a business owner, and he suggests that both alumni and career offices have experienced an uptick in addressing their alumni relations. He notes that Yale, his alma mater, has had an evolving program that offers job-listings for alumni and the beginning of some ‘career transition’ seminars to local alumni groups.
Old-fashioned networking with a modern twist is alive at Wake Forest University. Business school professor Aneil Mishra, co-author of the book (with Karen Mishra), Trust is Everything, maintains a network of well over 1000 current and former MBA students whom he helps find opportunities for free via his “Trust Network.” He receives “scores of job opportunities” via his network and then passes them along to students and other alumni.
Mishra is connected to members in a variety of business school networks, including Princeton and U-Michigan alumni. He notes, “There is not much of a chance that Princeton, Wake Forest, and Michigan alums would have naturally had the opportunity to learn about and share such opportunities with each other, so we thrilled about how [the network has] taken off.”
Ben Holcomb, Mishra’s former student, learned about his current job via this network. He says, “The Trust Network was an invaluable tool to further my career upon completion of my MBA at Wake Forest University…I was connected with Green Resource LLC, a rapidly growing business (in the top 5 of The Business Journal’s FAST 50 Awards Program) who sought a Controller to manage the company’s finances. Without being a part of the Trust Network I would not have been presented with such a great opportunity.”
It is worth investigating if YOUR alma mater offers a network or resources. Otherwise, you may be missing some great opportunities.
Interesting online resources.
As with in-person networking, there are new businesses aiming to help connect alumni for networking.Ã‚Â One such site is www.onedegree.com, which is University specific (only 5 schools are online now), and offers social and professional networking for students, fans and alumni.
Another interesting service to investigate is GottaMentor. This site aims to connect those who have advice to offer (mentors) with those who seek it. CEO Ron Mitchell notes, “We felt that, particularly in this tough economy, people needed a resource they could use to get more personalized career advice and feedback from people they know and trust.”
Potentially useful tools in GottaMentor’s library include a public database of searchable career advice from trusted sources related to finance, consulting, education, media, marketing, healthcare, entrepreneurship, technology and more. The site offers certain services free to anyone who joins and has a list of paid services.
The last topic in this series is corporate “alumni” groups. I am still collecting information about these groups and welcome you to email me at [email protected] if you are involved in a corporate alumni group or have benefited from an affiliation with one.
Do you host or sponsor a group or site that supports job seekers? Feel free to add it in the comments!
You have no idea how to network and could use a little help?I can teach you how to take the steps you need to be successful. Contact me to learn more.
photo by clevercupcakes