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 Alumni and Career Services is constantly working to strengthen the opportunities for Longwood alumni to meet one another and current students.
Like Meets Like
Starting this spring OACS began launching individual communities, with plans to launch more as each community becomes established. The Professional Communities are, in essence, a space to facilitate networking success. This program segments the Longwood 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 Ryan Catherwood, Assistant Vice President of Alumni and Career Services. "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 Community
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, information about available jobs and internships, and advice from alumni in your field.
The two inaugural communities are:
Lancers Hire Lancers
"We are working to develop the culture of Lancers hiring Lancers," says Catherwood. "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."