Just because you’ve graduated doesn’t mean your support has ended. As a student, you utilized student resources for support through graduation. Now as an alumnus, your university’s variety of resources can remain a vital connection point — beginning with the network itself.
An alumni network is a powerful tool that can completely change your career trajectory. A strong network provides new mentors, colleagues, and friends.
Use these five tips to not only help develop a strong professional network but ensure it can help you achieve the success you’ve worked so hard for.
1. Network With Other Alumni
While there is a slim chance that your classmates are the ones doing the hiring at an organization, they are likely to be able to offer you feedback, organization-specific insights, and possibly a letter of recommendation. Finding alumni who graduated with the same degree or similar may also give you a better idea of how to best leverage your degree.
Utilize your alumni network to form unique business connections to potentially find new clients and form strategic partnerships. Sometimes your network may not have a position to offer you at this time, but they could provide you with exciting resources or future opportunities.
2. Keep in Touch with Faculty
Your university’s faculty are not just teachers, they are also professionals and experts in their field of study. Many professors are active in the community and their respective industries. Similarly, they are great resources if you are looking to connect with someone. Faculty work with many people who have graduated from their courses. If you are looking for someone with specific expertise, don’t underestimate the insight and connections that your college professor has to offer.
Faculty also stay on top of the latest trends in their industry. If you are looking for opportunities for educational enrichment or to continue your professional and/or educational experience, faculty will have resources available to you.
3. Attend Alumni Events
Alumni events are not just an opportunity to reminisce and reflect, these events are also the perfect opportunity to effectively network and connect with fellow alumni in a personal way. Creating and maintaining these relationships will ultimately expand your support system and create more opportunities for professional advancement. Mark your calendars for the next alumni event, which is held both in-person and virtually.
4. Make the Most of Career Services
After graduation, many graduates seem to forget that they can still use career development services to help with their job search. Not only can they help with general networking questions, but they can also provide valuable insight on editing your resume, researching companies, industry trends, salaries, and interviewing strategies. While utilizing career development services cannot guarantee you a position, utilizing the tools at your disposal will help you become the best (and more hire-able) version of yourself.
5. Stay Connected on Social Media
Perhaps the easiest way for you to leverage your school’s network is to follow them on social media. Now more than ever, Universities are making valuable information like alumni updates, information for school and community events, new program launches and relevant resources available through their social media pages. Social media is also a great way to identify and connect with fellow alumni, creating another valuable relationship.
One survey by Intelligent indicated that 84% of hiring managers said where a candidate went to school matters. Now is not the time to shy away from the school, people, and resources that got you through to graduation. Your job search won’t be easy, but it will be worth it. Put your best foot forward by making the most of your alumni network.
If you’re a Herzing University graduate, learn more about alumni opportunities and resources here, including the Lifelong Learning Alumni Scholarship.