Elizabethtown College Launches New Digital Student-to-Alumni Networking Platform
Elizabethtown College has created a new way for students to tap into the Blue Jay alumni network through a newly launched digital platform, EtownConnect. Through a partnership between the Office of Career Services and the Elizabethtown College Alumni Association, EtownConnect was established to help students search out alumni in their intended career field and connect with them virtually for insight into their industry.
The platform was introduced to Etown alumni earlier this summer as a way to give back to the College through a willingness to share their time and talents with the next generation of young professionals. Alumni can fill out a profile that includes information related to their time at Etown like graduation year and major as well as career information including job title, career category, location, and employment status.
“In EtownConnect, the College has a terrific blend of important ingredients—an alumni base with members who are very loyal and engaged as well as successful in their careers and lives,” said Mark Clapper, Executive Director of College Engagement. “Through this system, students now have the ability to easily contact these members of our Blue Jay Alumni family whenever they choose. Doing so will enable them to broaden their professional networks and gain access to potential future opportunities.”
Students also fill out a profile to get started and then have the opportunity to browse the library of alumni who already have profiles established in EtownConnect. They can identify alumni with careers they aspire to or majors similar to their own and initiate conversations through the platform. There are several ways students are encouraged to draw upon the experience of alumni including:
- Mock interviews
- Resume reviews
- Information about employers and the application process
- Networking referrals to other alumni or contacts who may be able to provide you with additional career information
- Informational interviews about career paths or career fields
- Tips on job or internship search strategies in career fields or geographic locations
“Not only can you build relationships that will open employment and internship opportunities, but networking is the best way to explore various career fields, gather the information that will help you make informed choices, develop professional skills, and gain an insider’s perspective on what it is like to work for a specific company,” said Jane Nini, Director of Career Services.
To date, nearly 200 alumni have created profiles across several career industries. The platform was just recently launched to students in early-September and is growing every day. Senior International Business major Lauren Moyer ’21 created a profile with plans to connect with alumni who love Etown and gain valuable insight into an emerging job market. “My first impression of the platform was that the alumni who were connected have had a lot of success in their careers since graduating from Etown and it is a great feeling to know that they want to come back and mentor students,” Moyer said. “It was not difficult at all to begin connecting because most of the registration was through my Jayweb account, so it was easy to access. I was able to search and send out emails to 6 alumni in about half an hour, and from there I am ready to begin networking and building a relationship.”
EtownConnect is available for all Elizabethtown College students to use. The platform is housed in Jayweb, the College’s intranet, so only students have access to their own profiles and their information remains protected. The platform also only allows students to initiate contact with alumni rather than the other way around to ensure students are driving the conversations.