While estimates vary, studies show that between 70 and 85 percent of jobs are found through networking. That's just one reason that Longwood University's Office of Professional Networks is constantly working to strengthen the opportunities for Lancer alumni to meet one another and current students.
Like Meets Like
This summer, the office is launching Professional Circles, a program to facilitate networking success. This program segments the Lancer family into groups by career role and interests to help serve as a catalyst for connections among people who share similar professional activities.
While most universities and organizations separate networking by industry, Longwood is changing the game by categorizing by role. "If we had a 'Lancers in real estate' event, we would draw folks who sell real estate in addition to marketers, accountants and IT professionals, among others," says Macrae Hammond '14 and '15, Longwood's Director of Professional Networks. "Chances are that accountants, for example, who work in real estate love accounting, not real estate. We want to have events where accountants can network with accountants and others where marketers can be with marketers."
Find Your Circle
Alumni and students are invited to join a network today. Not only do you become part of a group of like-minded individuals, you gain access to a variety of resources. These resources include: professional development opportunities; digital and regional events; newsletters filled with specific content about your area of work; and opportunities within your area of interest.
Circle members are encouraged to share information with one another about available internships and jobs.
The six inaugural circles are:
- Business & Financial Operations
- Information Technology & Security
- Marketing, Communications & Media
- Science, Math & Health Services
- Education & Human Services
- People & Workforce Culture
Already a Hit!
The first Professional Circles event was held during Mega Reunion 2018. Hundreds of people attended the kickoff part on Beale Plaza which featured a networking hour with students, alumni, and faculty. More than 200 people signed up to be part of a Circle, bringing the number of alumni already enrolled to more than 700.
Lancers Hire Lancers
"We are working to develop the culture of Lancers hiring Lancers," says Hammond. "That's our long-term goal and on the way to getting there, we are trying to impact individual students. Our alumni are a vast career resource that is going untapped for our students. With this catalyst for connection, we are facilitating the creation of impactful relationships."