4 ways for alumni to help graduating students with career advice and networking

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4 ways for alumni to help graduating students with career advice and networking

Preparing to enter the job market often means informational interviews over coffee, visiting employer tables at career fairs, and practicing a firm handshake. But COVID-19 disrupted the spring recruitment process. It left students unable to complete their internships and recruiters unable to visit campuses.

Below are four examples of how alumni career advice and networking can help the graduating class right now. 

1. Volunteer to conduct virtual resume reviews

At McMaster University in Canada, alumni can sign-up for one-hour time slots to provide live resume critiques to current and graduating students.  During these sessions, alumni work with students in 15 minute increments typically working with 3-4 students. These virtual resume reviews offer alumni a tangible and easy way to assist students. 

2. Join the institution’s career network and send well wishes

As part of their #BobcatsTakeCare engagement and giving campaign, Ohio University is proactively asking alumni to network with fellow Bobcats—both students and alumni—by signing up for the Bobcat Mentorship Network. The institution is also asking alumni to share words of advice and encouragement with the graduating class, collecting this information via a central email inbox.

3. Sign up to be a 30 minute mentor

At the University of Michigan, alumni can volunteer to conduct a 30 minute, one-time mentoring session with a current student or recent graduate by filling out a short volunteer form. This form supplies the information a student needs to connect with the mentor and provides contact information for the advancement office. This short-term commitment appeals to busy alumni while enhancing student career development.

4. Share your career journey via podcasts

Alumni relations and career development staff at the University of Glasgow developed a podcast entitled “Soundtracks: Making Sure Your Career is on Track”. Through this series, they interview well-known alumni and/or individuals with interesting career journeys. These podcasts are available on the University’s website as well as popular podcast platforms such as Spotify and iTunes. In the future when group gatherings resume, students and alumni could attend a live taping of the podcast.

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