When I was in college, I was involved a lot on campus. I was part of the larger community and loved knowing people on campus and what events were coming up.
Fast forward to when I first moved to Boston and I knew four people; two of whom were family.
I really missed that community feeling, and knew my college had provided it before. So I checked out opportunities to stay involved even though I was no longer on campus. Since graduating, I’ve become the Marketing Chair of our alumni network Boston Chapter, where I send out emails for events and monitor the Facebook page on behalf of the chapter.
Most universities have alumni chapters in major cities across the U.S. and it’s definitely worth your time to get involved. Not only is it a great place to network– there are people of every age and industry involved- but you have a common thread to talk about and a reason for them to help you. It’s also a great way to make friends your age or reconnect with people you didn’t talk much to in college, but happen to live nearby.
Head on over to your school’s website and find the alumni page, where there is likely a list of the different chapters they currently have. These chapters probably have somewhere to email the President, or think about searching for the organization on Facebook. If you aren’t ready to take the plunge to be on the board, just ask to be added to an email list about upcoming events.
If you are ready to take on more responsibility, let them know where your expertise lies, or ask where they could use some help.
A few personal examples to inspire you to get involved:
- I still catch up every so often with the former president of the chapter. He also helped me get my foot in the working world as an intern. He quickly became my first mentor; I’ve gone to him to help me navigate non-competes, give his opinion on potential job offers, and just talk shop.
- I work closely with the Boston Chapter’s current co-presidents, and they are really open to letting me get involved in things I want to help with. We’re hosting an event with someone at a company I have unbelievable respect for, and I attended the planning meaning at their office and speak with him directly, just because I asked.
- I’ve reconnected with a few people I lost touch with toward the end of college and have made some new friends in the city.
- At one of the networking sessions, I met a few people I was able to help. One has followed up with me via email, and we’ve talked back and forth, as he was looking to start a blog. Another is looking for a start in the working world, and is potentially interning for the company I work for now.
So whether you want to help others, or need some help with your job search or career, your alumni network is a great community to get involved in.
For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Levo League!
About the Author: Sarah Mitus works as a Social Media Specialist, writing content, monitoring platforms, building strategies and measuring success for multiple clients. She has strong interests in personal and company branding, organizing, post-it notes, professional development and finding happiness. You can find her on Twitter!