Published on Oct 17, 2023
We’ve talked before about career fairs as a means of networking with potential employers, but did you know that you can network in other ways too? Talking to alumni is a great way to get started. Tons of people graduate from MU every year, which means lots of people get added to an alumni network that you can access through different programs here on campus.
LinkedIn is one of the best ways to start talking to alumni, especially for people who prefer to keep a more professional image with their network. Adding alumni from your school can help build your image of professionalism and credibility, which makes you more attractive to companies and potential employers. The great thing about using LinkedIn is that you can easily sort through MU alumni and add people who majored in the same area as you. All you have to do is go to the Mizzou LinkedIn page and click on “See Alumni”.
Similar to LinkedIn, you can directly talk to alumni on Handshake as well! Explore roles that MU alumni hold and connect with professionals who have a job that interests you. You can gain exposure through these connections and spark up conversations to help expand your network. Click this link to the Handshake guide on how to use the platform to connect with students and alumni.
If you’re looking for more of a learning experience, applying for Mizzou Mentoring is the right step for you! Here you can build a professional relationship with an assigned alum where you can share knowledge, skills, and perspective. It’s an easy way to make a lifelong connection with someone who has shared a similar experience at MU. To get started, create an account with your MU email (or connect your LinkedIn account!) and register as a mentee. Once you complete the mentee quiz and fill out your profile, you can scroll through mentor profiles based on your own criteria and send invitations to connect.
True Tiger Network
Maybe you’re looking for something a little more exclusive. We recommend joining the True Tiger Network (TTN). The TTN is a student chapter of the Mizzou Alumni Association and is meant to empower current students through connection and pride in Mizzou. The True Tiger Network offers career development and networking opportunities, as well as exclusive access to scholarships and freebies. To join TTN, you just have to pay dues. TTN has a variety of payment plans available to students, each with its own benefits. For more information, click here.
The goal is to show that you are professionally developed and are looking to expand your circle. When you send messages to alumni, be strategic. It might be a little strange to the alum if they get a random message from someone they don’t know. To avoid confusion, make sure you introduce yourself. Include your name, year, and major and explain how you got their information. Then explain why you’re messaging them. Be specific and concise. If applicable, add your resume. Remember that you’re trying to build a connection for the future, so be friendly but professional. Review these examples of how to write personal messages on LinkedIn. Don’t be afraid to adapt these for any alumni communication you do.
As always, remember that your network starts with the people around you. Talk to the people in your class. Build that connection. If you have any questions, always feel free to contact us here at the MU Career Center.