In May of last year I wrote a post titled: LinkedIn as an alumni connection tool
The post got quite a bit of traffic and I have had a number of institutions contact me in the last year about our efforts. I thought it would be appropriate to give an update on our efforts.
Today we are approaching almost 3,000 members of the Gettysburg College Professional Network on LinkedIn. Our collaborative efforts from last spring have proved to be well worth the time and effort we put in. One of the keys to our success was the group that assembled to work on the project. We had members of the alumni office, parent relations area, career development, and marketing and web teams. These groups continue to be engaged in the project.
Our goal for the project was quite simple, to connect alumni, parents, students, faculty, and staff with each other professionally.
During the last year we have seen our membership grow, the conversations on LinkedIn develop, and the Professional Network become a part of the career development business process. While we were pleased with the number of people who had joined the group we were even more pleased with the number of jobs posted, questions asked, and discussions started among our members. The network has value to all involved.
One of the success stories from this year was when a prospective parent posted a question, “Hello, Gettysburg is at the top of my daughter’s short list of colleges. Two questions: How liberal is Gettysburg? And how safe is Gettysburg College for a young lady? Thanks!” 21 comments later the question was answered from all angles, from alumni and parents of various generations, and a variety of perspectives. The value of the network was never more evident than that day.
Career Development routinely works with students and actively works to help them join and use LinkedIn as a key networking tool. Building our base on LinkedIn has also helped to fuel a new initiative at the College. Gettysburg will conduct an intensive five-year campaign to create 1,832 (the year the college was founded) new career-related opportunities for students by 2014, and we’re depending upon alumni, parents, and friends of the College to make these opportunities a reality. LinkedIn will play a role in helping us meet and exceed this goal.